Wednesday's Window to the World: Bali, Indonesia

February 29, 2012

One of the many rice fields scattered across the island! - Ema McIntyre, 2011


Manic Monday: Lads on tour in Amsterdam

February 27, 2012

Awesome ad by Dutch TV network KPN! This aired when they introduced BBC programming on their network...At first I couldn't figure out what this ad was about, it just looked like regular lads on tour to me...! I've seen more than my fair share of English/Spanish/Italian tourists get stuck in the tram rails here in Amsterdam, it's so funny to see as most of them are stoned when it happens...

Happy Monday! :) 


Sunday Snapshots*

February 26, 2012
There's been a dark cloud looming over my head ; statistics, assignments, reading & more reading have taken over my life. Luckily I've had a few highlights in between recently: 


|1. Fancy dinners & trying 'Scheermesjes' ('Razorblades' - I still don't know what they're called in English) | 2. Making travel plans - So many choices! {via} | 3. Discovering instant noodles - Apparently I've been living under a rock | 4.  Getting a glimpse of the professional photos taken at my best friend's wedding by the talented Gina Francesca (More of these to come!) | 5. Seeing the most amazing photos from everyone on the open "View from your Window" group | 6. The first hints of Spring! People have started smiling again {via} | 7. Fresh flowers | 8. Babysitting the coolest kids ever - those shoes fit into the palm of my hand | 9. Chilling with some of my favourite girls :) 


Ps: this week I'm linking up with The Simple Things, Sunday Snapshots and Sweet Violet in the hope that anyone interested in photography checks out the 'View from your Window' open photography page on Facebook :)

Sunday Snapshot 

Top 10 Oscar Dresses

February 23, 2012
It's my second week posting on Friday's Fancies and I've made another list! This time we're looking at everything 'Hollywood Glam' and nothing screams Hollywood like the Red Carpet. Here are 10 of my favourite Oscar dresses (on some of my favourite actresses) Most of them are quite chic and simple. Looking forward to seeing what will feature this Sunday!

Happy weekend! :) 


ps: My poor blog is still under construction (Coding, editing, snipping + importing all takes FOREVER!) so it's still not looking or functioning as I'd like it to. Here's hoping for a productive weekend!

Firefly magic*

These gorgeous photos are the work of Tsuneaki Hiramatsu. Hiramatsu took them at various points over a three-year period between 2008 and 2011 and they are from two different sites in the Okayama prefecture in Japan. The long-exposure photos capture a certain type of firefly called the Genji Botaru. To make the photo where you see hundreds, if not thousands, of small firefly lights, Hiratmatsu used time-lapse photography to take several continuous exposures and then combined those exposures in post-production. Each photo where the firefly lights become trails is just one long exposure.

Check out more of Hiramatsu's photos here.


Wednesday's Window to the World: Amsterdam, Holland

February 22, 2012
From my student flat in Zuiderzeeweg, Amsterdam ... End of a sunny Autumn day :) - Guylaine Bergé 2011

PS: If you're reading this please help me out by becoming a follower of this blog! Not sure as to how to do this? Click here and I'll show you :)

Pancake Day!

February 21, 2012
My Dutch housemate laughed at me when I said today was Pancake Day. The Dutch are crazy about pancakes (even making mini versions) but they haven't yet named a day after it, apparently. 


Here I was thinking it was celebrated all over the world but it turns out Shrove Tuesday is quite an English 'thing' when you eat pancakes before the start of Lent. Why pancakes? Because they're made out of the ordinary things you have readily available like sugar, fat, flour and eggs, which are usually restricted during the fasting period. In other countries it can be linked to Carnival - which derives from the words "carne levar" (to take away meat). Though I won't be fasting any excuse to eat pancakes sounds great to me :)

Dutch pancakes are more similar to crepes and are the perfect student meal because you can throw almost anything in there. Personal favourites include: *cheese + spinach and *mushroom, egg, onions + sausage as savoury crepes and *nutella + banana and *sugar + lemon as sweet :) (Eaten almost daily on our trip to Thailand believe it or not!)

Here's the basic recipe for yummy crepes:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of white sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
3 eggs
2 cups of milk
2 tablespoons of butter, melted

*Sift together the flour, sugar and salt and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and milk together with a mixer. Beat in the flour mixture until it looks smooth and then stir in the melted butter
*Heat a lightly oiled frying pan (A griddle is best but students don't usually own such things) over a medium heat. Pour about 2 tablespoons worth of batter for each crepe. Tip and rotate the pan to spread the batter as thinly as possible; don't worry if there are some tiny holes. Cook until it's nice and brown and crispy on the edges.


When dinner is the only thing you have to look forward to on a day swamped with reading & assignments pancakes make it that much more exciting*


Manic Monday: Move to the beat of London 2012

February 20, 2012
You know those Monday mornings when you wake up feeling like this:


Or this


And all you want to do is this?


Well we all get that 'Please-let-today-be-cancelled' feeling on Monday mornings BUT here's a little pick me up...
The London Summer Olympics are just around the corner and what's a better way to get everyone in a good mood than an inspirational Coca Cola ad? My final Master's thesis involves the London Summer Olympics so I was quite excited to see this new dance track ad with Mark Ronson and Katy B created using the sounds of sport from 5 Olympic hopefuls. It's been a long time coming and now it's just around the corner!

This is the 60 second version of the ad but there's also an unlisted 4 minute version which you can only access via a direct link like this one here (Which is MUCH better in my opinion) - I can't really understand why Coca-Cola would have made this unlisted except to make access to it seem more exclusive? Not sure but either way...


Happy Monday :)


Big City Sleepin'

February 19, 2012
My crazy buddy ol' pal Sarah over at A sprinkle of Sarah is quite a fan of doing different events to raise money for charities but this one I’m particularly excited about as it’s not your typical charity event…

Sarah will be sleeping ‘rough’ during the cold British winter/spring in Spitalfield Market on 23rd March in order to raise money for Action for Brazil's Children.

Why? Because 7 million children live on the streets of Brazil and ABC Trust is working hard to provide invaluable help to many of these children. They’re a small charity who work with local communities in Brazil and make sure that children are provided with the basics to have a good education. They also work in the arts and culture, using film, theatre and music to bring about social change.

 Sarah worked for an amazing NGO in Brazil - Central da Cidadania and has seen firsthand the positive impact that sponsorship money from abroad has on the schools and the children. Just £10 can pay for learning materials for 25 children for a month.....!

The money will go to: Circo Picolino, a social circus project - using circus-arts to help at-risk young people and AA Crianca that runs 2 projects - the CEDECA and CASA 20, offering a drop-in centre, providing children with a safe place to go during the day, washing facilities and a secure place to leave their possessions.

We all hear about how strong Brazil's economy is and how powerful it could become... but it won't get anywhere if its children aren't educated or don't have a roof over their heads!

Abraços y Obrigada :)


What makes you happy* on Love Design

February 18, 2012
 My good friend Tash from Barbados has started posts about What Makes You Happy and I was lucky enough to be her first guest posts on the feature! Check out my post on Love Design* and have a paroozle around her blog on interior design and home decorating :) 


Happy Friday

February 17, 2012

It's been a long week - here I was thinking that I could 'quickly' re code my blog with the limited code experience I have from my undergrad. Silly me! I'm also slowwwly but surely transferring everything over from my travel bug (Check out some of my posts on the Middle East in 2010!) In the real world my course work is also catching up and the pressure's on - Beer + a boogie in a trashy student bar somewhere in Amsterdam are pretty good cures for this.

Happy Friday :)


I'm teaming up with Friday's Fancies for the first time this week after a friend suggested I give it a go! I was worried I wouldn't be able to participate this week because I signed up rather late but then I saw the theme : 
"Let's fly away!"
Luckily I had this recent post on my Top 10 travel essentials so figured I wouldn't be cheating too much by using this post, right? Next week I'll be coming up with something new once I've finished tinkering with HTML and other yummy stuff and Skip to Malou* is fully functioning with a fresh, new look! Check out everyone else's Friday Fancies over here.

Have a great weekend - Especially to those lucky enough to actually fly away for a quick break! :)


Social Media trends in 2012?

I came across this chart on 5 Social media trends to watch in 2012 and aside from the horrific polka dots which make it difficult to read, it's quite interesting. Geeks + media junkies take note: 



February 16, 2012
A few weeks ago I started a group on Facebook that's aimed at spreading the "Windows to the World" idea. It's been a great success so far, check out some of these amazing views from friends across the globe:

If you or a friend in a far-away/interesting place would be interested in doing something like this feel free to add them to the group :) 

Would love to see the different 'points of views' of everyone! You can make it as complicated or as simple as you'd like. If you want to include a description or a story with your photo that'd be awesome and I''ll fit it in. If it's not really obvious as to what the photo is of, could you put a brief description?

Feel free to join in the fun, I love seeing new views everyday


ps: Could you also do me the favour of 'following' my blog if you decide to join in on this idea :)

Wednesday's Window to the World: Santorini, Greece

February 15, 2012
I was on a ferry leaving the island of Santorini while this was taken. The white houses you see on the cliff is the town of Fire (Thira), the capital of the island - Zoe Koukaki, 2003

 then, she {snapped}


Love Ever After

February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day is kind of like Christmas for me. It stirs up all kinds of emotions and instead of gifts I make sure to tell certain people what they mean to me; it's always nice to be reminded of how much someone loves you or cares about you. Friends, family, pets and lovers all get a slice of the love pie. I've had some amazing Valentine's Day gifts and dates over the years but one in particular will always stand out...

10 years ago today the boy-next-door, my then crush (who later became my first love and one of my best friends) had coaxed his sweet grandmother into delivering a Valentine's Day gift on her early morning walk. She lived down my street and at 6 am she snuck onto my front porch on tip toes, laying down a flower, a teddy and an anonymous note. Two hours later, as I madly rushed out the door to make it to school on time, I came across the flower and card and nearly cried. I had an idea as to who the flower was from but wasn't sure if he could have made it out of bed at that hour, so it didn't really make sense. I carried that flower around with me all day at school (at an all girls school mind you, so you can imagine the questions and gossip that it invoked) and couldn't stop smiling. I had a real life Valentine. Later that day, my secret Valentine came over to say hi and pretend he didn't know anything about my special delivery. What followed was a very awkward conversation between two awkward teenagers as we both tried to play it cool. It was only a few weeks later that my suspicions were confirmed after his Mum let it slip that it was in fact his Granny who had played Cupid on his behalf! I still smile when I remember waking up to that sweet Valentine's Day surprise so many years ago...And yes, I got the 'OK' from him before publishing this.

On the topic of love and sweet notes, I came across the work of Lauren Fleishman who's project "Love Ever After"  portrays New York couples who have been together for more than 50 years. "After my grandfather's death, I found a series of love letters that he had written to my grandmother in a book next to his bed. They had been married for more than 50 years. This project is intended as a photographic series of 'love letters'." A sweet reminder that even though time changes things, true love can really last.

"You don't really think about getting older. First of all, you're aging together and when you see a person constantly you don't notice big changes. Like you don't notice 'oh you're getting a little wrinkle here' and tomorrow you say 'oh it's getting deeper.' Those are things that just happen. You don't pay attention to those things. "
"We met each other at a dancing party. It was January, 1938...Another cadet with high boots had approached her but she didn't like the high boots so she said no to him. I was the second one to approach her, I had a different uniform, but I'm not sure if it was my uniform or my face that attracted her to me." 
"What is the secret to love? A secret is a secret and I don't reveal my secrets!"

Happy Valentine's Day :)


Manic Monday: Little Friends

February 13, 2012

Check out more awesome animal photos by Seth Casteel on his Little Friends website.

Happy Monday :) 


A Sprinkle of Sarah in Amsterdam

February 12, 2012
I had a lovely weekend chilling with my friend Sarah who popped over from London. She was just as excited as me about the snow, frozen canals and Dutch goodies (we share a love of food) Here are some snapshots of our n'ice weekend:
Slice of the best apple pie in the world with fresh homemade whipped cream
Dangerous game of Kings

Being the geeks that we are and seeing that I've been busy working on my own blog layout, I revamped her blog for her by sprucing up her original template. Check out the new and improved A Sprinkle of Sarah!