New Year's Anti-Resolution

December 29, 2011

Count on Calvin to complicate something simple...although I do stand by his theory of relativity. I'm not a firm believer in New Year's Resolutions; they're overly optimistic attempts to relieve those who feel guilty or fat after binging over Christmas. How many resolutions last longer than a couple of months?  And girls, who are we kidding when we 'cut out carbs' and yet happily eat the chips from our boyfriend's plates? It doesn't count! Everything in moderation...and I get bored quite quickly... BUT I figure I'm going to give it a shot this time and try something different.
A few friends have suggested trying the 365 day photo challenge: A single photo for every day of the year. 
So I'm giving it a go - as of Jan 1st, 2012 I will be taking a photo every day and posting it on Skip to Malou*! It's a great excuse to work on my photography skills and to carry my camera with me at all times. I have a bad habit of thinking "ooh that's a great shot!", then doubting myself and having sleepless nights thinking of the great photo ops I've passed up. I'll throw in a few themes, like colours or story lines here and there, to try to keep it interesting. This challenge poses two main challenges for me:
1.) Finding something interesting (Spoiler alert: there will be boring photos of my cat when I'm stuck inside studying...!)
2.) Accessing my blog on a daily basis - not so easy when traveling and trying to load Blogspot from my not-so-graphic-savvy Blackberry!
I may have a few slip ups here and there so please bear with's a step in the right direction and I hope I won't lose any readers in the process...
Any ideas, tips, complaints or opinions would be greatly appreciated :)

What are your New Year's anti-resolutions?


Wednesday's Window to the World: Bali, Indonesia

December 28, 2011
Part 1: Bali is such a magical place I found it hard to just pick one image, so I have sent 2. The first one I have entitled "Boobs" for obvious reasons. It's very common here to see elderly ladies with no tops on. This one in particular I spotted on our trip to Ubud. She was just strolling down the main road, no cares in the world. It was not till I got home and looked at the image on the computer that I realised that she was holding a knife.
I love the juxtaposition of the image - Ema McIntyre, 2011.

Lazy Blog ~

December 27, 2011
It's always crazy hectic/relaxing at the same time during Christmas in this island. It leaves me little time to hop onto the computer and give my blog some TLC....On the other hand, I've been taking loads of photos as a result! This makes for very lazy blogging in my opinion but I don't have the time to do anything else right now so bear with me :) Here's a bit of my life through my lens:

Bright colours on Christmas morning
Love Bubbles! Not sure what the random blob is on the left hand side....possibly a smudge on my lens....oops.
View lying on deck whilst sailing today

Peace and loveeee


Merry Christmas!*

December 25, 2011

This is Fred, our little friend with a sunburnt nose! We've always made a sandman instead of a snowman at some point during Christmas here in the Caribbean :) 

Merry Christmas to all of my friends celebrating the holidays around the world!
Wherever you are, here's wishing you lots of love, warmth & happiness!


Wednesday's Window to the World: Aberdeen, Scotland

December 21, 2011
Peeking through a birdwatcher's shed in Aberdeen - Katerina Marsounova, 2010

I doodle too, do you?

December 20, 2011
Studies show that sketching and doodling improve our comprehension -- and our creative thinking. So why do we still feel embarrassed when we're caught doodling in a meeting? Sunni Brown says: Doodlers, unite! She makes the case for unlocking your brain via pad and pen...


I'm coming home.

December 19, 2011

As much as I love chilling with two of my favourite people (and our tacky Christmas tree) on our rooftop terrace overlooking one of my favourite cities, I'm ready for home. Even if that means flying for 15 hours from Amsterdam to Frankfurt and through Tobago to get there.

Bring on Barbados!


Take me there: Sergerie Residence, Alberta, Canada

December 18, 2011
So whilst I'm working on my final paper I like to daydream about places I want to visit next. These photos were originally sent to be included in my "Windows to the World" project but they're all so beautiful that I couldn't just pick one! Our dear family friends Cindy and Tara took these gorgeous shots from their home in the Foothills in Alberta. It's such a striking contrast from the scenery we're used to in the Caribbean, far less in Europe. There's just so much wide, open SPACE! It's no wonder so many films are shot here. I just had to share these with everyone.
Can't wait to be with them again one day! ♥


Birthday Snappy Snaps

December 17, 2011

Bit late but here are a few snaps from my birthday party a couple of weeks ago. I especially love the last group photo, I gathered most of the girls at the party for a 'school portait'! :) I was spoiled rotten by everyone all weekend! There was way too much cheap booze, lovely friends and Ri Ri played on repeat  Perfect :)


Winter Wonderland

December 16, 2011

These are some shots I took when I was studying in Leeds a few years ago. It was the first time I experienced a heavy snowfall and I was blown away by how beautiful the industrial city suddently looked covered in a blanket of snow.
I'm excited for the snow to hit Amsterdam this winter but for now I'm really grateful to be spending Christmas in the sun! :)


♥ Banksy

December 15, 2011

Twens, teens, Tumblers & Techie generation take note.


Take a chill pill.

December 14, 2011

Whilst I'm studying & working & eating way too much crap...I listen to these chilled guys, check them out:

Not only did I leave the library at midnight the other day; I walked away from my desk forgetting that my headphones were still plugged in to the computer....and yes, I stumbled backwards. I may possibly have knocked the chair over as well... as a clutz on a caffeine rush, I'm a hazard to myself.

T-5 Days until I'm home in the sunshine :)


Wednesday's Window to the World: Corfu, Greece

View from the Pink Palace Hostel on the Greek island Corfu. After moving to London in 2008, this was my first trip outside of England. It was a girls trip at a party hostel so was lots of fun!- Melanie Maingot, 2008


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UnDutchable: My baby daddy is a drug dealer

December 13, 2011

Before rumours start, let me clarify that by 'baby daddy' I mean the father of the little boys I babysit every week. And by drug dealer I mean that Joachim has one of the most unusual job descriptions I've ever heard of. He co-owns a chain of coffee shops here in Amsterdam, organises events and gets to hang out with loads of stars who visit "The Green House Seed Co."

When you think of Amsterdam, what are the three things that come to mind? I can guarantee you that 'weed' is one of them. This liberal city is city is known worldwide for it's relaxed attitude towards marijuana use, catering to 11 million tourists a year, most of who come for a puff of the green stuff. (And not only in Amsterdam...4.3 million tourists visit the coffee shops in the Dutch border city of Maastrict!) And the thing is, contrary to popular belief, its not even technically legal. There is an "open tolerance policy" towards the selling of marijuana because the government believes it should spend more time and money dealing with harder drugs. That's why the law partially turns a blind eye to the 231 shops scattered over the city.

The menu at the Green House
One person is allowed 5g of marijuana on them and a shop is allowed to sell up to 500g. About 4 times a year a group of around 200 police offers raid each coffee shop to make sure they're under the limit (which they're not of course and they lose a tonne of money! But it means the police force can at least say it's keeping things under control...)

Pre-rolled joints for the amateurs
The Green Mile first opened in 1985 and became so well known after they started posting videos on how best to grow marijuana and HD (which now has a "HempTV" channel - it's hilarious, check it out!). Celebrities picked up on this, started visiting the shop, spread the word and one thing led to another! Joachim and his business partner Arjan have hung out with everyone from 50 Cent, System Of A Down, Snoop Dog, Wesley Snipes, Mike Tyson, Dennis Hopper, Sean Paul, Busta Rhymes, Cyprus Hill...the list goes on and on and on...
Here are a few of the snaps on their 'Wall of Fame" which Joachim gave to me for this post:

 Clockwise from top left:  Lil'Jon, Tommy Lee, Alicia Keys, Mike Tyson, Kate Hudson with Chris Robinson, Quentin Terantino

Clockwise from top left: Limp Bizkit, Rita Marley, Pink, Xzibit, Wesley Snipes

Clockwise from top  left: Cypress Hill, Sean Paul, Kirk Reynolds, Kid Kudi, Dennis Hopper

The other day I was chatting to Joachim and his phone went off : "No way! Paris Hilton is in the shop!" Off he went to entertain the socialite, who seems to have had a good time... (Unfortunately he didn't get a photo)

The same thing happened the following week when he got a call saying that Rihanna had stopped by! This time I got a little jealous and told him to say hi to my fellow Bajan for me... They hung out all night and the next day she came back for more. The paparazzi went wild and her "trip" to the shop was plastered all over the internet. Joachim had even gotten her a special "Super Lemon Haze" (which has won the High Times Cannabis Cup twice...)
She loved it.

A couple of weeks ago Joachim was at the annual "Canabis Cup". The award goes to the shops which sell the best quality high grade and seeds. Apparently the police are being a bit difficult this year by enforcing a "no smoking" policy at the Canabis Cup venue even though marijuana smoke falls outside of the smoking ban. Needless to say, there were a lot of angry potheads under one roof!

Sounds a bit bizarre? It really is! This isn't your average business in Amsterdam but Joachim approaches this like any other business...they work just as hard but play a little harder.

NB: No marijuana was consumed during (or after) the creation of this post.

Manic Monday: It's time

December 12, 2011

Not quite the ending you expected?
Irregardless of how you may personally feel about homosexuals and gay rights, I think you can agree that this is a heartwarming portrayal of a couple in love. This ad campaign is for a petition in Australia aimed at ending marriage discrimination. I especially like that the viewer is made to feel a part of it, proving that we all share the same emotions, trials and tribulations in a relationship, whatever our sexual orientation.

Happy Monday!


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Sunday Study Sesh

December 11, 2011
It's times like these you curse being a's dark, cold and gloomy and you're stuck inside studying on a Sunday afternoon. How did this happen?
Thank god for housemates who study medicine and are in the same predicament, Hipstamatic, caffeine and a cat.

T-minus 8 days until I'm at home chilling with this little guy in our hammock:

I swear I'm not a crazy cat lady...


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5 things keeping me from going insane...

December 10, 2011
Crazy, hectic, end-of-term chaos makes you appreciate the little things in life that much more.

1. Kruidnootjes - I'm unashamed to say that I eat a bag of these little Dutch devils a day whilst studying....200 pieces of cinnamon bliss; it's like popcorn, but better.

2.These snuggly little monsters keep it real.

3. Lovings from my housematesWaking up to a fresh cup of coffee delivered in bed by one and early morning cuddles from the other 

4. Caffeine & Jenna Marbles - My guilty pleasure; I LOVE this girl! More on her later but these are both necessary for study breaks.

5. The reassuring thought that in 9 days I will be here with most of my favourite people in the whole wide world:


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