Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Ive read: hold back the stars

by Katie Khan

I picked up this book in a mall bookshop in Kota Kinabalu when I was there with my mum. The book I had brought on our trip was coming to an end and I knew I’d have to spend a few hours alone at the airport the next day and needed a back up. I chose this one based on the blurb, I figured it was some kind of YA sci-fi story. Could be entertaining.

Turns out I was kind of right. It’s sci-fi in the way that part of the story - present time - is set in space, and the rest of the story consists of flashback from our two main characters lives on earth. How they met. What decisions they've made that led them to now being in space, dying in 90 minutes if they can’t figure out a way to save themselves. This is a love story more than a sci-fi novel. Carys and Max falls in love in a world - a hundred or so years in the future? - where being 27 and finding “the one” goes against the rules, they are too young (!) to settle down. 

I finished this book in 24 hours. Partly because I had a lot of time to read waiting for my plane home, but also because it was an easy an compelling read. And a beautiful and touching story. Recommended.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

a bunch of girly new stuff

I already showed you my new earrings from COS, and what my mom and I did when she was visiting, but here's another post combining these tow themes. What I've been shopping on our trips! I came home and realized I've become a lot more girly in my style the past year. I mean, I've worn skirts and dresses for a long time, but the bling, romantic florals and pink is new. And, well, I'm not entirely sure what i was thinking when I bought the see through, soft plastic sandals with fake rhinestones... The are very comfy, though! And fun. Yes they are fun. 

Jelly Bunny sandals
Earrings from COS
Kate Spade iPhone case
Singapore Sling flavored tea from Raffels
Warehouse long sleeved shirt with tropical pattern
Clarks ballerina flats

Friday, 2 March 2018

visiting neighbours

Here comes a few photos from last week, when I explored Singapore and then Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia with my mother! Both are cities I've visited before, but traveling all the way here only to visit Brunei felt a bit boring so I'm glad my mom got to see a bit more of the region. And we did some cool things that were new to me too!

Multicultural Singapore:

Exploring nature in Malaysia:

Thursday, 1 March 2018

tired thursday and new earrings

Yesterday I had a video chat with one of my best friends back in Norway, Alison, where I complained at bit about having a hard time focusing and how I felt a bit stessed. She reminded me of the importance of giving yourself a break every now and then, and that’s why I decided to cut myself some slack this week. I have a lot if things I should work on and this week it’s been hard to focus on the right stuff. I made a way too ambitious and scattered plan for the week and even though I’ve worked on a bunch of things I just don’t feel like I’m getting anywhere. So. This week I’m skipping my workouts - even though I would probably be in a better mood if I went - and I’m moving a few of the things where I have no deadline until later this spring. It goes against my priority plan but can’t be helped.

What’s left to do this week:
  • Work on and finish assignment 2 in my graphic design course. Including a rapport. Deadline Saturday. 
  • Work on and finish the first assignment in my illustration course. Deadline Sunday. 
  • Update software logo and suggest page layout for one of my freelance jobs. Deadline Friday. 

Still plenty to do. Can't help feeling a bit like a failure for not being able to get all the things I want to wrok on done, but oh well. Failing isn't so bad.

Just because I don't want to make this post a complete whine-festival - here are a couple of selfie from yesterday when I wore my new earrings from COS when going out for duck lunch with Andreas and some friends. COS makes the best earrings...

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

week 9, almost back to normal for a while

Hey there,
This week my weekly planning post is written on a Tuesday since I was too busy yesterday. I'm back home doing my normal stuff after a ten day long visit from my mother. Except for three days last week when we spent time here so she could see our home we have been traveling, visiting Singapore and Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia.

It's always nice to have a visitor and I'm glad to be exploring the neighboring countries but I'm still glad to get back to normal routines as I am pretty busy and well... we will be traveling again next week, this time to meet up with my in-laws. This spring will be quite busy with trips, but that's how it is when you live abroad and family want to come visit! A huge luxury problem that I wont dwell on any more.

Anyway, I don't have any meetings this week - as far as I know - so I'll have time to get some work done. Which is good, since my second course just began last week and I have plenty of things I need to get up to speed on.

This is what's going on for me this week:

Today I'm doing course work. I have two assignments - one quick, one a bit more complicated - in my new course in illustration to finish before Sunday. I need to plan, research and sketch them both today, and then I'll finish the detailing on Sunday. I also have to do my Malay homework and go grocery shopping! I should also spend at least an hour or so working on a few illustrations I'm making for one of my freelance projects, a visual profile for a dance club. Tonight, after Malay class, I'll go to the pool and do some laps.

I did most of the work on this months issue of the newsletter I'm responsible for yesterday, and got it sent out for proof reading, but I've set aside some time tomorrow to do the final changes and add some last minute material I know will show up. I'll also continue working on the visual profile for the dance club and spend at least an hour on Revit tutorials. If it hasn't been raining I'll have a riding lesson in the morning and in the afternoon I'll meet up with some friends and go to a Piloxing class. In the evening I have a video conference with one of my teachers in my new course!

I'll split the day between doing Revit tutorials and working on my other freelance project - a logo for a business dashboard. In the evening me and Andreas plan on going to CrossFit class and then I'll probably be dead for the rest of the evening.

Deadline to hand in the logo. Continue working on the illustration assignments and the assignment for my graphic design course, this time illustrating statistics. I hope to get some time over to just draw for my own pleasure as well. Plan on going to the gym in the evening and then have a beer on the balcony while Andreas makes us burgers...

Sleep late. Work on my graphic design assignment. Go to the pool. Clean out my make-up cabinet.

Work on the illustration assignments. Maybe write a blog post or two. Start packing for our trip.

I'm doing ok with following the plans I made up earlier this year when it comes to structuring my weeks according to priority. When time becomes tight though, the structure slips a bit and I guess it has to.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

That time I hosted a workshop

Good morning!

Last week I hinted that I’d hosted my first ever workshop in drawing, and I know you’re all super curious on how that went so... here goes:

First a little background. I decided I wanted to give this a try already back in November. I’d been coming to the conclusion that I wanted to “do something” with my newfound love of drawing and maybe turn it into part of a future profession. I also felt it was time to step outside my cl fort zone a bit and not just sit at home and draw. I’ve never taught drawing before, but I have quite a lot of theory based on years of drawing plus various courses. I’ve studies art history, done a summer course in Poland when all we did was draw for a week, drawn live models and so on. So I feel pretty comfortable with this. I would never try to teach anyone who’s not a beginner, but still. 

So I suggested to my team in the expat organization (the one where I’m newsletter editor) that this might be something I could offer, if the though it would be something the community would be interested in. They did! So I promoted it in the latest newsletter and was glad to learn the workshop filled up quickly! Due to a miss understanding I ended up with 10 participants instead of the 8 I had set as limit, but that turned out to be a good number anyway. 

I prepared quite carefully with a small leaflet where I had assembled some information, tips and the exercises we would be go through. The theme of the workshop was “still life” as I believe drawing basic objects is a nice way to begin, and a good way of learning about composition and shading without going in to too much detail. I bought everyone a HB and a B4 pencil plus an eraser. Basic tool that goes a long way. On the day of the workshop I set up the room with two small groups of objects of various shapes. 

In a way I thinks it’s hard to say if the workshop was a success or not. People seemed happy and expressed gratitude afterwards, but it’s hard knowing what they really thought. I think most of them enjoyed it and several have given me feedback that they’d come again if I hosted another workshop. The hardest part was to adapt a workshop like this when you have no idea what level people are at. I had promoted it as “drawing and sketching for beginners” but some of them had done some painting before. In a way, the most important thing - for me personally - is that I just did it. I wasn’t nervous, I’ve been hosting workshop at work before so I’m fine in that situation, but I’m still glad I had enough confidence to teach something that isn’t my “real” job. Yet. Maybe that’s overconfident of me, but I think we - as in us women - often could benefit from being more overconfident every now and then.

I still haven’t decided if I’m going to host another one, as I’m too busy to focus on that now. If I do, it will be in April or may when my course work and traveling has eased up a bit. 

Friday, 16 February 2018

a while ago in Bali

Our anniversary trip to Bali last weekend summarized in 5 photos.

we ate amazing food
did some shopping
had cocktails by the pool
I bought a round hand bag
and we ate donus

Plus I got to spend some quality time with my favorite human being in the world. 

I actually posted a few restaurant recommendations on my Instagram (@holly_hawkeyes) if you are planning to go to Bali at some point and want to know where to eat. There are plenty of hipster places around Seminyak where we stayed. 

Today I'm going to Singapore to meet up with my mom who will be visiting for about ten days. As Brunei isn't a very fun place to be a tourist in - but great to live in! - we are first doing Singapore for a weekend before she comes here for a few days. Before she goes back home we'll spend next weekend in Kota Kinabalu - Malaysia - so she'll get to experience a bit more of what Borneo has to offer.  It will be fun, but I probably wont do much blogging for the next week or so...

See you soon-ish!

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Netflix favorites right now

I'm not going to recommend Alias Grace, the Crown or the End of the f*ing world since everyone has already seen these but instead bring the spotlight to two other, less hyped series. And yes, they are less hyped partly because they are not exactly as good, but still... I really enjoyed them


This series cam best be described as Stranger things in German. I'd guess the target group is pretty much the same as this series is also all about mystery, family drama, supernatural things, 80's nostalgia. But with a moodier undertone. And in German. I actually found it quite instructive and a great refresher for the German in learnt while living in Dresden ten years ago. 


I was a big Batman fan until Ben Afflek got the part, so this series, where we get to know some (most) of the characters in Gotham before Batman becomes Batman and is still only a barely teenaged billionaire. We get to know Jim Gordon before he's commissioner, we get to meet the Penguin when he's only Oswald Cobblepot and the Riddler before he becomes (too) creepy. It's exactly like a good comic should be: dark, exaggerated and violent. And sometimes ridiculous, like when a horrible assassin shows up and it turns out his name is Eduardo Flamingo... Oh lol! 

Dirk Gently's holistic detective agency

This series is as weird and confusing as they come - which isn't surprising as this series is based on a novel by Douglas Adams. But it's also, sweet, funny and sometimes surprisingly violent. Anything can happen when holistic detective Dirk suddenly shows up. And Frodo is there, as a neurotic ex musician.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

a quick OOTD

In the middle of workshops, deadlines and meetings I snapped a few photos of a cute outfit the other day. Just to mix things up here a little bit on the old bloggerino - and show my face for once!

light beige linen top - Uniqlo
skirt - Zara
earrings - COS
I used to wear skirts and tops more often before, when I lived in Noway, so this feels more like "me" than when I wear trousers, but - darn it - I should have bought a larger size! This one is just a bit too tight in the waist for it to be completely comfy. And comfy is key. But I opted for the smaller size since it was already a bit on the long side for my height. I should wear skirts more often. Skirts are great.

Monday, 12 February 2018

monday, week 7 - that escalated quickly

Good afternoon, dear friends! Or - as I just learned last week in Malay class - selamat petang!

I'm having a pretty exciting day, professionally speaking. Remember how I mentioned last week that I had some new opportunities coming up, that I felt I should accept even though I don't really have time for them? Well, today I had initial meetings for both of these projects and now I just have to jump pretty much right in to them... I'm in a pretty good mood, but at the same time I feel quite stressed. Both time-wise, but there is also a certain level of performance anxiety involved, as both projects are graphic design jobs... But I have explained to both of my clients that I'm still a student within this field, so I hope they have realistic expectations. It should be fine.

Anyway. These two new projects just adds to the pile of things I have going on now. Tomorrow is a pretty big day as I'm hosting my first ever workshop in drawing for beginners! This is an idea I have come up with myself, something that I wanted to try in the effort of making illustration and drawing into something a bit more professional. I'll hopefully have time to tell you more about it later in a few days. Other things on my schedule this week are two course-deadlines, a planning-meeting for the next newsletter and most likely a meeting with the re-modelling project. Oh, and I need to do my Malay homework too... And that's just in a four day workweek as I'm traveling to Singapore on Friday morning to meet up with my mother.

Again, all of these things are fun (more or less), interesting and really good for my future CV, but I still can't help being a bit frustrated everything happens at once... why is it always the case? I just need to, once again this week, sit down with my bullet journal and plan what tasks to do each day. It should all work out. But be warned there might be a lot of focus on work/study for a while now here on the blog, and not a lot of other fun things. Maybe not the most interesting for you to read about. Sorry, not sorry!

Have a great week everyone!