Thursday, 17 August 2017

Dutch Courage // Tips For Learning A New Language

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Whether it's in preparation for starting an exciting new job across the globe, maybe your life took an unexpected turn upon meeting a Dutch man and falling for his dark eyes and finely tuned sarcasm (just me?) or perhaps you're simply headed off on an exotic holiday- whatever your reason for learning a new language, it is one heck of a challenge but boy what a rewarding opportunity and life long skill!


Many of you know the tale of how I tumbled down the rabbit hole and landed in the Netherlands, I find myself now, more than 3 years later, using this fascinating language on a daily basis and I can't help but pat myself on the back share with you a few of the tips and tricks I've learnt along the way.


First of all, be kind to yourself. It isn't a race so take your time, breath in this shiny new knowledge and let it find it's place in your mind in good time. Most complex skills take a while to master and language is most certainly one you need a little patience with, so chip away at it daily and before you know it you'll find it starting to stick.


There are so many brilliant interactive books/ internet courses that really help to tackle it from a variety of angles, (remember, you're learning how to speak, write and understand something), which I highly recommend either as an accompaniment to a class or instead of (I chose the latter option since I felt that by moving abroad was like a big, continuous class anyways...).


Post. It. Notes. When I was starting out, before the big move, I covered my house and work desk with easily grouped together words (Days of week/ month, numbers, colours) and surrounded myself in the translations. I noticed that by looking at it often enough it started to sink in, but be sure to change up your notes otherwise you'll end up remembering a pattern rather than actually learning its meaning. Another fun homework task would be to buy a foreign magazine or newspaper, choose an article and translate it word for word into your own language. Use google translate or a foreign dictionary and start to build up a word book for yourself. The more you do this the less you'll need to jot down.


Reading! I may be biased here but books are such a glorious way to get into your language of choice. Now, step away from the Dickens-esque tomes, we're going back to nursery!.. kids books are perfect for beginners and will have you speaking the lingo in no time. As you progress you can step up a level until you feel confident reading adult literature. Keep it small though, so not to put yourself off. Have your trusty new word notebook handy, if this method works for you then go ahead and write down the new words/ phrases as you go. Other daily media work wonders too, foreign radio, vloggers on youtube and tv shows will do the trick to implement your studies and keep things interesting. I switched from Dutch subtitles on an English show one day, then English subtitles over a Dutch programme the next day.


This is an obvious one but arguably the most valuable to your quest- talking! Find a local to converse with, whether that's a friendly neighbour, someone via skype or a fellow classmate on your language course. Speaking as often as possible will help with your pronunciation, give you the opportunity to flex a different set of muscles to reading and writing, allow the chance for feedback and will no doubt build your confidence! Another thing to prepare yourself for is feeling embarrassed when you make a mistake. Because it's gonna happen. But laugh with the rest of em, remind yourself that you're learning and make note of the super awkward moments- you'll never forget particular words again and will end up with some great stories for later!


Lastly, use your ears and listen. Notice tones of peoples voices, pick up accent traits and emphasis on particular words. Whatever, whenever, just soak it all up. But most of all, keep going. Learning a new language isn't the easiest of challenges but it will change your life beyond measure and it is something that can open a world of adventure and opportunity if you keep at it.


Friday, 11 August 2017

Make My Day concept store, Nijmegen

You know those fail-safe places in your favourite town, that special store where you will find that perfect little something- be it a present for a close friend or a treat for yourself (we all do it), well one of my all time favourite shops to visit, when in Nijmegen, is Make My Day concept store. This shop is a gift in itself! It is such a buzzing hub of ideas, beautifully curated, stocked full of individual small brands mixed in with a complete treasure trove of unusual beauties that make each visit different!


This humble concept store houses both men's and women's fashion, (news hot off the press- soon to become two separate shops because of how much butt they are kicking in an otherwise dwindling retail market. Go team!) and also offers the chance for a restyle or fresh new hair cut, the opportunity to browse classic records or latest vinyl works, cleverly selected pieces of vintage perfect for adding a touch of timelessness to any wardrobe and even provides interiors and plant lovers just as much to choose from!


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Make My Day, concept store, Nijmegen, Netherlands, Holland, concept shops, interactive shopping, fashion, retail, hair salon, the new retail, fbloggers, fblogger, lifestyle ,lbloggers, vintage, high street, instastyle


Make My Day, concept store, Nijmegen, Netherlands, Holland, concept shops, interactive shopping, fashion, retail, hair salon, the new retail, fbloggers, fblogger, lifestyle ,lbloggers, vintage, high street, instastyle


Make My Day, concept store, Nijmegen, Netherlands, Holland, concept shops, interactive shopping, fashion, retail, hair salon, the new retail, fbloggers, fblogger, lifestyle ,lbloggers, vintage, high street, instastyle


Make My Day, concept store, Nijmegen, Netherlands, Holland, concept shops, interactive shopping, fashion, retail, hair salon, the new retail, fbloggers, fblogger, lifestyle ,lbloggers, vintage, high street, instastyle


Make My Day, concept store, Nijmegen, Netherlands, Holland, concept shops, interactive shopping, fashion, retail, hair salon, the new retail, fbloggers, fblogger, lifestyle ,lbloggers, vintage, high street, instastyle


Make My Day, concept store, Nijmegen, Netherlands, Holland, concept shops, interactive shopping, fashion, retail, hair salon, the new retail, fbloggers, fblogger, lifestyle ,lbloggers, vintage, high street, instastyle


Another important aspect for any successful business is the overall atmosphere, and this place has gezelligheid in spades! The staff are super stylish and really friendly, there is always a classic tune to groove to whilst browsing and by people watching the other customers you can pick up some freakin great fashion tips!


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Make My Day, concept store, Nijmegen, Netherlands, Holland, concept shops, interactive shopping, fashion, retail, hair salon, the new retail, fbloggers, fblogger, lifestyle ,lbloggers, vintage, high street, instastyle


Make My Day, concept store, Nijmegen, Netherlands, Holland, concept shops, interactive shopping, fashion, retail, hair salon, the new retail, fbloggers, fblogger, lifestyle ,lbloggers, vintage, high street, instastyle


Make My Day, concept store, Nijmegen, Netherlands, Holland, concept shops, interactive shopping, fashion, retail, hair salon, the new retail, fbloggers, fblogger, lifestyle ,lbloggers, vintage, high street, instastyle


Make My Day, concept store, Nijmegen, Netherlands, Holland, concept shops, interactive shopping, fashion, retail, hair salon, the new retail, fbloggers, fblogger, lifestyle ,lbloggers, vintage, high street, instastyle


Make My Day, concept store, Nijmegen, Netherlands, Holland, concept shops, interactive shopping, fashion, retail, hair salon, the new retail, fbloggers, fblogger, lifestyle ,lbloggers, vintage, high street, instastyle


Make My Day, concept store, Nijmegen, Netherlands, Holland, concept shops, interactive shopping, fashion, retail, hair salon, the new retail, fbloggers, fblogger, lifestyle ,lbloggers, vintage, high street, instastyle


Make My Day, concept store, Nijmegen, Netherlands, Holland, concept shops, interactive shopping, fashion, retail, hair salon, the new retail, fbloggers, fblogger, lifestyle ,lbloggers, vintage, high street, instastyle


Make My Day, concept store, Nijmegen, Netherlands, Holland, concept shops, interactive shopping, fashion, retail, hair salon, the new retail, fbloggers, fblogger, lifestyle ,lbloggers, vintage, high street, instastyle


I always leave Make My Day feeling mega inspired with lots of ideas and projects bouncing about my mind and more often than not with a purchase or two! The perfect place to pick out a unique outfit, accessorised to the hilt with a vintage bag, a pair of Happy Socks, locally made jewellery and a cactus to boot!


If you find yourself in Nijmegen then be sure to pay this fashion hive a visit, you can thank me later!

Monday, 7 August 2017

Open Your Eyes // Mood Board Curations

How was everyone's weekend? We had some gorgeous weather here in the Netherlands leading to a spontaneous 10km hike through the beautiful forest along the Dutch/German border and an evening of home made guacamole, cold white wine and a stunning orange-pink sunset. Marvellous!


In order to get this week off to as fun a start, I've been revelling in these awakening mood boards. Everything that speaks to me right now combines a crisp freshness with a sleepy, sunny haze. I hope you can find inspiration in these images that may boost your motivation and creativity!


Faded Windmills_mood board post_ fashion_ beauty_lifestyle_fbloggers_bbloggers_lbloggers_latest looks_lookbook_ inspirations_ visuals_ goodvibes_ creative living_ instastyle_ bloggers_ instamood_ streetstyle_inspiring_ curation_ fashion bloggers


Faded Windmills_mood board post_ fashion_ beauty_lifestyle_fbloggers_bbloggers_lbloggers_latest looks_lookbook_ inspirations_ visuals_ goodvibes_ creative living_ instastyle_ bloggers_ instamood_ streetstyle_inspiring_ curation_ fashion bloggers


Faded Windmills_mood board post_ fashion_ beauty_lifestyle_fbloggers_bbloggers_lbloggers_latest looks_lookbook_ inspirations_ visuals_ goodvibes_ creative living_ instastyle_ bloggers_ instamood_ streetstyle_inspiring_ curation_ fashion bloggers


Faded Windmills_mood board post_ fashion_ beauty_lifestyle_fbloggers_bbloggers_lbloggers_latest looks_lookbook_ inspirations_ visuals_ goodvibes_ creative living_ instastyle_ bloggers_ instamood_ streetstyle_inspiring_ curation_ fashion bloggers


Faded Windmills_mood board post_ fashion_ beauty_lifestyle_fbloggers_bbloggers_lbloggers_latest looks_lookbook_ inspirations_ visuals_ goodvibes_ creative living_ instastyle_ bloggers_ instamood_ streetstyle_inspiring_ curation_ fashion bloggers


Faded Windmills_mood board post_ fashion_ beauty_lifestyle_fbloggers_bbloggers_lbloggers_latest looks_lookbook_ inspirations_ visuals_ goodvibes_ creative living_ instastyle_ bloggers_ instamood_ streetstyle_inspiring_ curation_ fashion bloggers


Faded Windmills_mood board post_ fashion_ beauty_lifestyle_fbloggers_bbloggers_lbloggers_latest looks_lookbook_ inspirations_ visuals_ goodvibes_ creative living_ instastyle_ bloggers_ instamood_ streetstyle_inspiring_ curation_ fashion bloggers


Faded Windmills_mood board post_ fashion_ beauty_lifestyle_fbloggers_bbloggers_lbloggers_latest looks_lookbook_ inspirations_ visuals_ goodvibes_ creative living_ instastyle_ bloggers_ instamood_ streetstyle_inspiring_ curation_ fashion bloggers


Faded Windmills_mood board post_ fashion_ beauty_lifestyle_fbloggers_bbloggers_lbloggers_latest looks_lookbook_ inspirations_ visuals_ goodvibes_ creative living_ instastyle_ bloggers_ instamood_ streetstyle_inspiring_ curation_ fashion bloggers


Faded Windmills_mood board post_ fashion_ beauty_lifestyle_fbloggers_bbloggers_lbloggers_latest looks_lookbook_ inspirations_ visuals_ goodvibes_ creative living_ instastyle_ bloggers_ instamood_ streetstyle_inspiring_ curation_ fashion bloggers


Feel free to follow along for the ride with my daily doses of mood enhancing collages or head right to the source of all creativity. If one post just isn't enough then feast your eyes on thidelicious gathering of bold beauties. Wishing you a kick ass week!

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Sugar Rush // My Favourite German Candy

Good day my lovelies! This here is a cheeky little post for you today in which I am sharing my favourite German sweeties. One of my all time favourite things to do when travelling is to try the local candy, and by living here in the East of the Netherlands I get to play the tourist during regular shopping trips across the border into Germany and I thought it only polite to take you along for the ride.


Now the Germans are known for their beer, the heavenly pretzels and most definitely schnitzel, but guys, they kick some serious candy butt, especially the chocolate- and I know a thing or two about chocolate!


Kicking off this sugary sweet homage I'd like to introduce to you the perfect little pick me up for road trips, to munch on with colleagues during a slow day at the office or just as a tiny treat when in need of a chewy snack. They're called Frucht-Kaubonbons (I'll take a wild guess that it translates to fruit chew sweets) and they can be found in Lidl for a mega low price.


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fave german sweets, faded windmills, lifestyle blogger, new post, candy, treats, lbloggers,


fave german sweets, faded windmills, lifestyle blogger, new post, candy, treats, lbloggers,


These next sweets I just had to try, and I think I need not explain what led me to pick them up... throw me a unicorn and cover it in sugar and I'm sold! Katjes Wunderland are slightly sour and very sweet and unexpectedly soft... Do not let this put you off, they are perfect for movie nights or kids birthday parties or for accompanying your favourite magazine!


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The real winner for me though, leaving aside the cute packaging but instead really accounting for quality, price and diverse range of flavours is the German chocolate. Step aside Belgians, there's a new Willy Wonka in town and this range of chocolate bars from Bellarom are simply awesome!


I've tried a few of them now, for research purposes of course, and these two are my current go-to flavours; the almond and milk chocolate and the swiss chocolate with 'oreo' cookie pieces... Just. Perfect. This is a must have snack cupboard staple to be cracked out during a monthly slump, to enjoy with a coffee and a stack of books and really goes down well as a gift!


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fave german sweets, faded windmills, lifestyle blogger, new post, candy, treats, lbloggers,


fave german sweets, faded windmills, lifestyle blogger, new post, candy, treats, lbloggers,


A mention when discussing German goods, should most certainly go to Ritter Sport chocolate bars- (especially the milk chocolate with cornflakes!!), and if I ever find myself in Berlin I will be first in line visiting the Ritter Sport colourful flagship store to test out the local merch, to stock up on the classics and of course to make my own Ritter Sport bar with their create your own candy bar station!

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Dame of Thrones // Costume meets Fashion #3

It's that time again, yes my friends and fellow dragon slayers, Game of Thrones is back! Well, season 7 of the tv show (please Mr Martin, get a move on with the next book!!) and as a celebration of character growth and badassery I chose delicate yet rapidly more courageous Sansa Stark for my latest instalment of Costume meets Fashion.


Admittedly Sansa isn't my favourite character but if we're talking development then this chic is leading the race. She's been through the ringer big time and is emerging in this latest chapter as a serious contender for the crown.


I can't wait for the latest novel to drop and to find out the fate of the realm but for now I will make do with the visually stunning show and Sansa's strong new look! It's time to embrace the rise of the Queen of the North and her regal metallics as I've assembled some subtle ideas to add a little She Wolf to your closet!


Sansa Stark wears: Scotch & Soda

Fadedwindmills_newpost_lifestyle_fashion_blogger_lblogger_fblogger_costumemeetsfashion_gameofthrones_sansa_stark_outfit_


Sansa Stark wears: ASOS

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Sansa Stark wears: River Island

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I'm loving Sansa's on point hair styles too this season and am living for her new found tenacity that I think could toughen up any look and add an edge of feminine fierceness.


Don't forget to check out my previous Costume meets Fashion posts where I channel heroine Jessica Jones and quirky Jess Day. Who's your latest fashion-inspiring character and I'm desperate to know; are you a fan of the book or the show or like me, both!

Monday, 24 July 2017

Hashtag Rapture // Instagram Accounts Currently Loving

Happy Monday, beautiful humans! I'm here to add a little colour to your day and set your week off with a sparkle of inspiration with my latest round up of Instagram goodies!


I've taken to doing this as a regular feature as I simply love the research bit (scrolling through my latest 'liked posts'), compiling my current faves into one bite sized list and sharing the beauty with my favourite people on the internet- you guys!


@whistleandawhim

Light // feminine // mood enhancing // blush & off-white tones // dreamy content // soft yet powerful

Instagram-favourites-currently-loving-Instagram stars- Instagram accounts- Inspiring- creative- create- art- fashion- beauty- lifestyle-top-Insta style-bloggers-fbloggers-bbloggers-lbloggers-bookstagram-creativeliving-newpost-faded windmills


@nooknorth

Texture // bold pattern & form // creative // motivational studio shots // subtle & selective colour use

Instagram-favourites-currently-loving-Instagram stars- Instagram accounts- Inspiring- creative- create- art- fashion- beauty- lifestyle-top-Insta style-bloggers-fbloggers-bbloggers-lbloggers-bookstagram-creativeliving-newpost-faded windmills


@niki_herring

Travel inspiring // one with nature // earthy & grounded // landscapes // misty & moody // mountains

Instagram-favourites-currently-loving-Instagram stars- Instagram accounts- Inspiring- creative- create- art- fashion- beauty- lifestyle-top-Insta style-bloggers-fbloggers-bbloggers-lbloggers-bookstagram-creativeliving-newpost-faded windmills


@cainite_

Fashion forward // stunning composition // well selected content // soft colour with spots of contrast

Instagram-favourites-currently-loving-Instagram stars- Instagram accounts- Inspiring- creative- create- art- fashion- beauty- lifestyle-top-Insta style-bloggers-fbloggers-bbloggers-lbloggers-bookstagram-creativeliving-newpost-faded windmills


@balzacparis

Youthful // bright & light // delicate backgrounds // style focused // continental // grown up fashion

Instagram-favourites-currently-loving-Instagram stars- Instagram accounts- Inspiring- creative- create- art- fashion- beauty- lifestyle-top-Insta style-bloggers-fbloggers-bbloggers-lbloggers-bookstagram-creativeliving-newpost-faded windmills


@amongmoonflowers

Moody // dark & light // playful shadows // emotive // story telling // nature // romantic & historical

Instagram-favourites-currently-loving-Instagram stars- Instagram accounts- Inspiring- creative- create- art- fashion- beauty- lifestyle-top-Insta style-bloggers-fbloggers-bbloggers-lbloggers-bookstagram-creativeliving-newpost-faded windmills


I'll be spending my week starting a new handmade garment as I just completed the Alex shirt by Sew Over It, celebrating my moms birthday via skype (I'm still allowed to make cake, right?) and nursing a tv hangover as the delightfully trashy Love Island drew to a close this weekend. Boo!

In the mean time, do feel free to embrace your adoration for these Instagram Aces!

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Dive In // Quarterly Book Review

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I have only five books to share with you today as I've hit a major brick wall with my reading lately. I guess having a non-stop three weeks travelling around Canada could have contributed to not setting time aside for my beloved books but I've also had an unlucky streak of starting a story and then really not feeling it enough to continue past the opening chapter.


Thankfully though, the novels I did get to during the months of April, May and June, were all pretty great reads and quite a varied bunch! Let's dive straight into the reviews shall we?


Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham    5* {209 pages}

This is one for the fans. The charmingly witty Lauren Graham shares a fast paced collection of personal essays as she looks back over her life and career and even shares a Gilmore Girl confession or two.

I loved how this book flowed in an eloquent yet chatty manner, it was bizarrely relatable and it's fresh pace made the pages easily digestible whilst cramming them full of fascinating mementos. Definitely a must read if you're a Lorelai fan and would be the cherry on top upon completing the series.


Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll    3.5* {352 pages}

With the upcoming wedding to her blue blood fiancé, glamorous Ani struggles to address an incident from her past and attempts to put the stories and gossip to rest during the filming of a documentary- will she bury her secrets and the truth along with it or risk losing it all for a moment of justice?

Page turning, plot twisting, thrill ride? Not quite, but it certainly entertained as a piece of flash back literature that definitely wasn't lacking in content. The book was written well with enough suspense and intrigue but I found it way too long and a little too busy. I can see how it landed high in the charts as it ticks the boxes for an interesting thriller but I think it would have benefited from a little editing down.


Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler    4* {368 pages}

Set in a famous down town New York restaurant, this book follows a year in the life of the enigmatic yet oblivious Jess as she stumbles into adulthood and all that follows, cue disillusionment, disappointment and eye opening experiences.

Call it good timing or outstanding fiction but this book just did it for me. It's poetic, highly charged, sensory meeting of words carried the story, created this flaky yet charming character, led me through a somewhat stationary plot yet from beginning to end the language was enhancing and delicious. I think I could read Stephanie Danler's take on just about anything, when told in this captivating hand. One to give a go, for sure.


The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead    3.5* {306 pages}

The Underground Railroad is a heart-wrenching tale of the brutal treatment of black people in pre-Civil War America, the secret route dug out beneath the ground promising hopes of escape and the harrowing story of one slave woman, her strengths and will for life despite her disadvantages.

I'm not sure where to start with this book other than by saying what a beautifully handled narrative, and an important piece of history that, despite the pain and devastation caused by this period in time, must never be forgotten or tip toed over and must be taught and understood, and most importantly never repeated. For this I applaud the book. I hold it in high reverence and I genuinely did enjoy reading this piece of fiction. However, I chose the wrong time to start it (note to self, if it don't fit in with mood/ schedule don't force it to) and found myself getting lost, confusing characters and time lines and generally taking way too long to get through. I do feel that lies more on bad timing that the book itself, so perhaps one to re read in the future? I insist you pick up this novel, but give it the time it needs.


Uprooted by Naomi Novik    4.5* {435 pages}

Finally we reach my favourite book of the pile, Uprooted by Naomi Novik. Every ten years, in their sleepy, lush green village, the Dragon must choose his next girl of age to take away from her family and community and back to the hidden depths of his enchanted tower. The next choosing is fast approaching and despite knowing her beautiful, confident best friend will be brave enough to accept her fate, Agnieszka is still scared. But when the Dragon arrives it becomes apparent she was scared for the wrong reason.

A true fairytale through and through! This novel is everything you could want in a story- wizards and dark, destructive forests, shining knights in full coats of armour and creepy, soul destroying demons, magical spells, potions and trickery and loyal friendships worth risking life and limb to protect! I daren't say much more other than treat yourself to a copy of this beauty!


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There you have it, a handful of varying genres that I highly recommend giving a whirl, especially over the glorious summer. Each of these books would fit swimmingly with a cocktail in hand and obligatory sunny weather!


Right now I'm currently getting my read on with another Dutch boekje (pat on the back for me), along side a mystical new release and have a growing stack of exciting tomes on my bedside table, to enjoy over the upcoming few months, ready to devour and share with you next time.