Monday, February 27, 2017

HOTSPOT Lola [Rotterdam]

After going to the Peter Lindbergh exposition (click link for blogpost on the expo), my mom and I sat down at Lola Bar & Kitchen to grab a bite. At Lola you'll find Spanish-inspired food, like different kind of tapas dishes and Sangria. We mixed & matched some of the tapas: gambas, bread and butter and chorizo croquettes - all so delicious!! I liked being at Lola a lot. It's a very spacious yet cosy place (perfect for groups, too!), neatly decorated and very friendly staff! Their bar looks cool with the neon signs & there's a lot of pink everywhere. A must-visit! 

So, what do you think of this Rotterdam hotspot? Let me know your thoughts! Xoxo

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Peter Lindbergh exhibition @ Kunsthal Rotterdam

A few days before the final end of the Peter Lindbergh exhibition in the Kunsthal, my mom and I headed to Rotterdam to learn more about this famous photographer. Even though Peter Lindbergh is today viewed as one of the most influential fashion photographers, to him it is more about the person than about the clothing. Franca Sozzani (editor-in-chief at Vogue Italia) explains this as follows: " [Peter] is not a fashion photographer, but he makes use of fashion to talk with and about women, and that's something completely different." His all black-and-white photographs are pure, minimalistic and timeless and women are portrayed as natural beauties, independent, authentic, and feminine. From the 80s on, he was important in shaping fashion photography into what we know today. He was also of utter importance in the careers of some well-known 'supermodels', like Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Linda Evangelista. He worked with many famous couturiers and was decisive for their visual identity. 

Peter Lindbergh: "You cannot just ignore everything that happens in the world. It wouldn't be challenging if fashion photography would be exclusively about fashion." His photographs show raw, realistic people and attack contemporary issues in society, like peace protests, gender issues and emancipation of women. He gets his inspiration from film, dance and industrial landscapes. Especially in fashion photography, he breaks the established esthetic rules with his unique vision on photography and society. 

When going around the exhibition, we were stunned by his work. Especially his photos of people are incredible and powerful. Seeing those photos in immense size left me speechless. We were in total awe! My mom, who is not particularly interested in photography or art of any kind, got so excited about the expo as well. We did not only get to see many of his famous photographs, but also a lot of his personal notes, behind-the-scene polaroids, pieces of clothing that were worn in his photographs, and old Vogue magazines having one of his famous pictures on its cover. From all this we learned that Peter Lindbergh is a genius photographer, with a great eye for what's of the greatest sort of beauty. He convinced Linda Evangelista chop of her hair. And he was right it would work out mightily for her. 

The exhibition consisted out of different sections, from which 'Supermodels', 'Couturiers' and 'Icons' were by far the most impressive ones. Others were 'Zeitgeist' (about protests) and 'Dance', and even though it was some great work as well, it didn't give us the overwhelming feeling that the penetrating eyes of people in the first three sections had. Peter Lindbergh is particularly gifted with a talent to portray people in the purest, most beautiful way. 

If you ever get the chance to see a Peter Lindbergh exhibition, DO GO! Even if you're not into art/photography, it is hard to not fall in love with his work. 

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

golden crosses on a blue velvet dress

Heeeeeeeeyyyy guys n gurls! Yesterday I decided to do a photoshoot together with my two favorite pieces of furniture in the house, a Chesterfield couch & a Persian rug, while wearing my little blue velvet with golden crosses dress and dotted tights. The dress is super comfortable- No, what do I say? All these things are super comfortable! Okay, the couch is a bit small so not very suitable for some laying-down TV watching, but I'm not a bingewatcher anyways. I love going online and search for second hand furniture- it's true that you get more fun out of it when you get it for cheap! 

I've been wearing this dress a lot lately, around Christmas with all the formal dinners that come with it. This dress makes it soooo easy to look fabulous! And that's true for a lot of other dresses as well. That's the best and weirdest thing about fashion: unlike other things in the world, it's not ironic in a way that the best things have the worst outcomes. You know, the way that the best food is the most unhealthy & makes you fat. In fashion it's the other way around: the easiest piece of fashion (the dress!) looks the best! And it does look great on every girl! I'm super pro-dresses and will encourage all to buy many, many more (second hand is better!).

Even though a dress looks nice on you, it's not the most sophisticated type of fashion: not much genius combining is done here. Oh well, sometimes less = more. I would ruin this dress by overdoing it with accessories and additional pieces of clothing. 

It's been a while again since I last posted something to this blog. February has been a terrible month for my precious weblog! I feel ashamed but I shouldn't. I'm still figuring out how to fit everything I got to do into the little amount of time that a week holds. I wished I would for once just focus on a single project instead of a dozen, but I guess I will never learn! 

Oh, before I forget: all pictures in this post were taken by Mitchell (Here you go boy).

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Oops, awkward blog gap! Past week has been crazy! On Monday, Kim Phi forced me to watch Fifty Shades of Grey in advance of going to the movie theatre to see Fifty Shades Darker on Wednesday. It was certainly much less awful than I had imagined after reading the first chapter of the book, which I had quickly labeled as the worst book ever written in human history. I had expected Anastasia Steele to be a lot easier seduced by Christian Grey, but she appeared to be a lot more hard-to-get, even though it was just pretend. Relief! She wasn’t just a shallow-brained, love-blinded body without a free will! Even though the film did not have much more depth underneath the bizarre, sexual relationship between Anastasia and Christian, I felt much more confident about watching Fifty Shades Darker two days later.

On Wednesday, me and my year club went to the Ladies Night at Pathé, where Fifty Shades Darker was being shown for girls only. The guy at the movie theater made sure to check all our IDs, even though some of us haven’t been under aged for five years. At least at Pathé they really know what a girl wants: some shirtless, muscular dudes handing out champagne, a feel good romantic movie, and a goodie bag filled with a shitload of food and free stuff. Certainly worth the money we had to pay extra for this exclusive night. Naturally, it was the goodie bag that we came for, but we were so ready for a fun girls’ night filled with awkward giggling and drooling in a desperate need of a Mr. Perfect putting us over his shoulder.

First thing that crossed my mind while watching Fifty Shades Darker was: What happened to Christian Grey? He certainly looked hotter with the stubble all over his face, but then again he looked freaking human, too! In part one he seemed so mysterious, so impenetrable – and look at him now! Christian Grey is no more mysterious than any other man, and a man he is indeed – an actual living and breathing human being! A human being with as many flaws as a common human being may possess, flaws in the form of psychological problems and strange habits. It seems that these form the basis of Christian’s love for whips and nipple clamps. I had always imagined Christian to be almost robotic, abstruse and a freak, now he seems more and more simply a freak and nothing else. He only remains secretive when it comes to his past, which is the exact thing for which we came to learn more about. It seemed as if Fifty Shades Darker attempted to create more depth in the story, but they failed, as if there is simply no more depth than we get here. I had hoped for some more layers in Christian’s character, but he appears to be just as shallow as we had feared for.

Love came with Christian’s new found humanity. In some brain-crushing thinking, Christian has discovered that Anastasia may mean more to him than a simple sex toy. The man who once claimed to be heartless, has suddenly become a true Prince Charming. Who could have thought that Christian Grey would ever be able to change into a Nicholas Sparks-ish character? How sweet. Anastasia has touched his heart and it will never beat the same again. She couldn’t care less about his demanding behavior. Oh, dear. Will she ever learn? She seems just as quasi hard-to-get as in Fifty Shades of Grey. Mesmerized. Not as if she could complain – she gets to live in Christian’s super-de-luxe penthouse (of course he’s a billionaire, how else would he be able to talk girls into having a sex-only SM-relationship with him? I strongly doubt if Anastasia would have agreed with Christian’s SM-wishes if he had not been able to invest in a real ‘play room’), doesn’t get very upset when one of Christian’s ex-gf’s vandalizes her brand new car as she knows Christian will get her another one anyways, and in between business she gets laid all the time.

The main criticism on Fifty Shades of Grey was that the sex scenes were quite disappointing. It doesn’t even deserve to be called SM, let alone porn. In Fifty Shades Darker it’s even worse. All we get is a single spank for Anastasia. So fucking decent! This is just simple garden variety sex. No, it’s even more boring than that, because we don’t get to see any genitals at all. Sure, it’s quite romantic, but no Fifty Shades Darker-spectator watches the film for some mainstream romance. At the beginning of every sex scene, random modern music starts to play, making it appear an awful lot like your average rom-com. Only the more-than-average amount of nipples and pubic hair appearing on screen for a split-second reveals that it’s really an ‘erotic drama’ that we’re watching. At least more-than-average in American terms – for Dutch moviemakers the horny scenes in Fifty Shades Darker are just pathetic.

Fifty Shades Darker left me a lot of questions. It couldn’t manage to dig underneath the shallowness. We hardly got any new information on Christian’s past, and I feel like they spent too much time on romance and too little on plot-critical elements. Well, at least now they know for sure that part three will generate them a lot of cash. The only somewhat exciting element of the story, in which Christian’s ex-gf shows up, is quickly rushed through, as if the filmmakers wanted to save more movie time for romantic scenes. Those scenes were too unrealistic and too goody-goody. But at least they wet us, even though only at our cheeks. The same cannot be said for the sex scenes. However, Fifty Shades Darker is entertaining in a strange way that I cannot comprehend. At least make sure you watch it with the lowest possible expectations.

Here are some tracks, to get you in da Fifty Shades Darker mooooooood:

After watching this film, we knew for sure: Pathé’s Ladies Night is da bomb! We’re planning on going again soon. It’s just so much fun with all da girls! When we got back in our city Nijmegen, we went to the sorority/fraternity building. I intended to stay for a little while, but ended up going home early in the morning. The following day I slept in, before meeting up with Kim Phi for some outfit shootings in the cold. That night my friend Freya came over to catch up on things.

On Friday, I went to the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam with my mom, to see the Peter Lindbergh exhibition and grab a bite at a nice lunch place somewhere nearby. Will share more about both soon! That night I got to take pictures at a college formal dance, and even though I did not expect it, I had a lot of fun! Music was great, people were too, and it got me thinking that students from the University of Applied Science party harder than students from the academic University!

On Saturday, my mom and I woke up soooo freaking early to go to the Harry Potter exhibition in Utrecht. It is a traveling exhibition showing a lot of the costumes and objects used in the Harry Potter films. We went to the Harry Potter studios in London some years ago, so we had already seen most of the stuff before, but the true reason we went was that Oliver and James Phelps, a.k.a. Fred and George Weasley, were opening the exhibition that day! We had tickets to enter around noon, but we arrived at nine to see the twins, hoping we would be able to get near them….and we did!! We managed to get autographs from both the actors and I took a selfie with both Oliver and James! Mission succeeded! May write more about the expo and the whole experience another time.

Some exciting week that was! I ended it quietly by babysitting on Saturday night, and hanging out with Janne on Sunday. I was so tired and went to bed early, as this week was going to be just as busy….Hope to have some more time to spent on blogging this upcoming weekend!

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Monday, February 6, 2017

HOTSPOT Betty Blue [Amsterdam]

HOTSPOT ALERT! A while ago, me and Janne visited Betty Blue in Amsterdam to grab some lunch. I had a breakfast taco which is pretty unusual for us in The Netherlands, but it was a common breakfast dish for me when I lived in Texas, USA (three years ago already!), and its where I developed my love for tacos for breakfast. This place has some great vibes - pretty rugs, leather armchairs, a touch of industrial - and it's perfect for chilling with your squad or getting some work done. Located close to Amsterdam's shopping center, it's a great place to hop by during a day of shopping. Just a really nice place that I wanted to share & you should totally check it out if you're in the area! :-)

When it comes do blogging, I did a step back lately. I just started a new semester and it has been chaotic, so I got to post considerably less often to my blog, but I'm quite at peace with it. Of course I would love to post more often if my spare time would let me, but as it doesn't, I prefer to scale down my posting habits a little bit to prevent myself from posting things in a hurry that I am not fully satisfied with (even more in a hurry than I am doing right now! I'm typing these words while my friends are waiting for me for dinner tonight). Even though I have plenty of outfits and hotspots ready to share, I do not intent this blog to be solely dedicated to those two topics, as if my interests are limited like that. In the end, this blog tends to cover the broad range of my interests, and even though there is a slight focus on fashion and hotspots, it is not the main purpose of this blog.

Sometimes I need to keep myself from getting carried away with all the chaos in bloggersland. It is as if all bloggers are in constant competition with each other, and it is very seductive to join in. The risk in that is that we end up unconsciously copying each other, so that we are all basically doing the exact same thing. What other explanation would there be for the lack of originality there is in bloggersland? Another risk is that I tend to obsess too much over social media. Of course I love to see my followers grow, but I need to remind myself that it was never my intention to turn this blog into a business and myself into a brand. At the age of sixteen 'stay true to yourself' became my motto, and sometimes this nearly-20-years-old version of me needs to take an example from my 16-years-old self.

What do you think of Betty Blue Amsterdam?

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Saturday, February 4, 2017

How Anne Hathaway's filmography shaped my teens

There are a few movies that I watched over and over again when I was in high school, and somehow many of them have actress Anne Hathaway in the lead. I didn't realize this until later, but it got me questioning: Does Anne Hathaway choose to play in awesome movies, or does she make movies awesome? I'm pretty sure it's a combination of both. Anyway, I adore many films starring Anne Hathaway and I now believe that these films were significantly important in my journey that's called puberty. Even though many of these films seem typical feel-good teen movies without significant meaning, when one looks closely, some wise life lessons may be learned.

The Princess Diaries 
I first got to know Anne Hathaway as Mia Thermopolis, a rather unpopular and insecure high school girl. Yet her sarcastic attitude, awesome attic bedroom in an old firehouse (including cat Fat Louie), her clumsiness, and her Ford Mustang, made me look up to her. When all of a sudden Mia turns out to be a princess and heir to the throne, she is forced to make the decision of her life: will she accept the crown or not? In the middle of this whirlpool of confusion, it becomes very clear that Mia is just a teenager after all, and the film smoothly addresses multiple teen problems to which we all could relate: jealousy, unrequited crushes, people who make use of you, relationships between mother-daughter and grandmother-granddaughter, humiliation, letting people down, and a first kiss. All these things are cleverly put together in one story with well developed characters. We can learn a great deal from Mia struggling her way through puberty. I love Anne Hathaway's portrayal of Mia Thermopolis and the whole film is super hilarious, too. 

The Devil Wears Prada
In The Devil Wears Prada it wasn't really Anne Hathaway's character Andy, but rather Meryl Streep's Miranda Priestly that intrigued me. Andy is the personal assistant from Miranda, who is the editor-in-chief of a fashion magazine. It's a terrible job, but doing this job for one year opens up many doors in the journalism world. Andy is not a fashionable type of girl, and at the beginning she sticks to being her unfashionable self. This is seen as stubborn, and later she decides to change her ways in order to please her boss and show her dedication to her job. This seems kinda weak at first, but the message that I got out of it is: if you want to make a great career, you've got to sacrifice everything else and choose for yourself, including choices at the expense of others. Co-worker Nigel simply tells Andy: "Let me know when your life goes up in smoke. Means it's time for a promotion." If this is true in real life as well, that'd be frightening - but I'm sure this is unfortunately true for some jobs at least. A focus on where you want to be is important in achieving your goals, and other things in your life may distract you from that goal. Then sometimes balance is not enough.

Bride Wars
Bride Wars is the very movie that kindles the innate desire in a young girl to marry one day. As children, best friends Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Liv (Kate Hudson) witness a wedding in the Plaza Hotel in June, and are determined to marry in the same place and in the same month one day. Ever since they keep a box full of 'Wedding things' and dream about their wedding. When the time comes they are to marry, they're wedding is accidentally scheduled for the same day. Neither one of the girls wants to change dates, resulting in an actual 'bride war'. It's painful that two friends who have dreamed of their weddings together so much have it spoiled like this, but in the end it brings them closer. Eventually we see how the fight between the two girls has changed them for the better, making Liv more vulnerable and Emma more assertive. I'm pretty sure it was this movie that made me prefer a traditional wedding and gave me all the great wedding ideas: a Vera Wang wedding dress, a Tiffany's engagement ring, and "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue".

Love & Other Drugs
Somehow Anne Hathaway is in the best romantic films around. I like these films in which it is not from the beginning totally obvious that two people want to be together blinded by love, but can't because of some parent or other constraint - in Love & Other Drugs, the guy is a womanizer who is only after sex, while the girl is not very impressed by the womanizer's attempts and at the same time scared to be in an actual relationship as she has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. The guy, Jamie (played by super cute Jake Gyllenhaal) and the girl, Maggie (Anne Hathaway) get into a sex-only relationship until Jamie begins to show symptoms of having grown actual feelings for Maggie. Maggie, convinced this is not going to work out as her disease will only get worse, tends to hold him off, but Jamie is not going to give up - including trying to take on the impossible task of making Maggie better, until he finally realizes that he would rather have Maggie just the way she is than anything else in the world. A delightful story to see. Maggie might be my favorite character portrayed by Anne Hathaway: she is down to earth, not easy to seduce, creative, strong despite her disease, and I love her hair & style and her cosy studio that she lives in. Perhaps it is the way Anne Hathaway plays this role, but it seems as if Maggie is a lot smarter and in-depth than the girls you usually see in romantic comedies. This is indeed a romantic comedy, yet it is different from its kind in that it contains multiple emotional moments and serious conversations, showing the bond between Jamie and Maggie grow stronger. The strong chemistry between Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway is certainly in operation here, too. So this movie taught me a lot about what love should be like, how hard and many-sided it can be, and how you do not always fall in love with a bang, but sometimes very carefully and thought-through instead.

One Day
Great romantic movie number two. I loved this film so much because it is about how life can turn out in a way so different than you had imagined for yourself. This film shows one specific day in different years over the course of 18, showing how the relationship between two friends has developed over the past few years. It is clear that they could be together, but the choices they have made in life keeps them apart while the years fade away. It is the ugly truth that even if you want someone very badly, it doesn't imply that you'll eventually end up with that person due to certain circumstances, finding yourself years later in a position where you had never thought you would ever find yourself. You see them struggle and hurt over the years, and it makes you realize: this is what it's going to be like, it isn't perfect or easy or meant to be, but the very task of life is to accept that this is what life is. 

Les Misérables
First I saw the musical on stage, then I watched the film, and then I read the book, so I could go on and on about Les Mis and what a wonderful creation that is, but for now let's just focus on Anne Hathaway's role. Even though this may have been her smallest part so far, it may be her greatest anyway. Particularly because of her amazing solo 'I Dreamed A Dream', which was sung by her right at the spot and in one take. That song by her was so incredibly done, so very touching, so raw - a true proof of Anne Hathaway's immense talent and the very establishment of her as a great actress. 

The intern
I first saw The Intern in a movie theater in Prague, and I immediately adored Anne Hathaway's role of Jules Ostin - a freakin badass girlboss, who runs an incredibly successful online webshop for clothes, something that she is so passionate about and that she achieved through hard working and great focus on her goals. Jules Ostin inspired me a lot in terms of career achievement and long term goals. I mentioned this character before in my blog post "5 female TV/movie characters who have my dream jobs". Jules may not exactly have my dream job, but her company and success a certainly inspirational to me. The most important message that I got from this movie, is that it is so important to listen to yourself and believe in yourself, and not let anyone direct your choices.

I'm pretty sure these Anne Hathaway films were in play in shaping me into the person I am today, either by teaching me something about life or something about myself. Anne Hathaway herself was certainly important in attracting me to these films and making me watch them so often. Nowadays I do not only appreciate Anne Hathaway for her acting skills, but also for the person she is outside of Hollywood. I like that she seems so very down-to-earth even with all the fame. It appears to me that she sees acting as her job, not as a way to gain fame for herself. She makes perfect use of her position as a celebrity to express her ideals and stimulate political participation in her followers - something I would do if only I would have as many followers as she does.

Which Anne Hathaway films did you watch & what do you think of it?

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