Final week of summer vacation!

Time for some update-y randomness!

I have nothing to complain about – my summer vacation has been long (a week longer than many others’, in fact) and so much fun. Now I am more than ready to see what this year of IGAD will bring!

Me and the hubs got our hands on our official wedding photos, and they are oh so pretty! I’m really happy I found our photographer a long time ago, and even happier with the work she delivered.

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Photography by Lotts.nl :)

Besides admiring the pretty pictures, I’ve been getting the house into a tolerable shape – organizing and decluttering – as well as lazying about and watching YouTube videos of Markiplier playing horror games. His commentary always has me doubling over howling in laughter!

But what do I still need to do this week?

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UFYH – wardrobe edition

While I’m on that organizing spree, I wanted to tackle another thing that had been on my to-do list for a while. I’d gone through my wardrobe awhile ago, but bought a bunch of new things since then, and my drawers were getting cluttered.

After a laundry day my dresser and wardrobe are positively bursting with wearable opportunities, but as days roll on, I’ve started to notice that the same pieces of clothing remain at the bottom of the drawer. I am by no means a fashionista of any kind, so I make bad purchases regularly, and those pieces end up not being worn ever on a regular basis. I figured it was time to do a good cleaning!

So I took out every single piece of clothing I had and dumped it on the bed.

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Time to start sortin’!

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Sunday sketch compilation 1

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I’m considering moving my figure study sketches and WIPs here, so I’ll be starting with a SSC (or Sunday Sketch Compilation).

I’ve been so much on a roll lately, mostly because I’m working on Week 1 of Art Camp. :3

This week’s sketches! Took a bull by the horns, worked on some abstractions, fun-yet-way-incorrect-sketches and a few figure studies.

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UFYH – office edition

Some of you may be familiar with the Tumblr account Unfuck Your Habitat, or UFYH for short. While I generally don’t fall in the category “things kind of pile up until I can’t see the floor anymore”, I think the systems and concepts the UFYH folks swear by are actually, really good for normal human beings. I know that at one end of the spectrum there are people who keep track of everything, have seasonally color-coded pillows (and despite having pets, all spaces seem oddly hair-free) and then there are, well, folks who either have a legitimate excuse like chronic illness or just can’t be assed to pick up after themselves until the mold growing in the sink begins sprouting legs. I’m somewhere in the middle, with the occasional laundry build-up or laziness picking up after myself (or the hubby *stares*) and floors not being spotless, but hey – all in due time.

When it comes to cleaning, I sometimes get “in the cleaning mood” and clean until I can’t move anymore. At these moments my better half knows better than to interrupt, because I am a tornado, organizing, doing laundry, vacuuming and doing generally whatever is necessary to get the place looking neat again.

But I have had my weak moments. Since I was done with school things in July, I started using my office as a storage space.

It looked like this to begin with.

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UUUUUGGGHHH.

It was hurting my soul to open the office door and look at the mess I created, but I had to clear this out as soon as I could to get warmed up for school that continues again in September.

To work!

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You can now subscribe!

Hey folks!

Due to popular request (and playing around with plugins for WordPress) you can now subscribe and get my newest posts straight in your inbox, hot off the presses!

The only thing you have to do is to drop your email address in that little box in the sidebar, and confirm your email address (because double opt in is a legal thing these days).

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Thanks for reading! I’ll be going back to my drawing exercises. 😉

Amazing honeymoon in Japan (part 3)

Day 15

After all the touristy things during our honeymoon, we were finally winding down from sightseeing and finishing souvenir shopping.

While wandering about, we (or better said, my husband) found this awesome tea store.

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If you love tea, you will love this Lupicia store in Kyoto as much as I do! A wall full of tea tins, waiting to be picked up and sniffed. Many of them were very exotic (Earl Grey tea with chocolate? CHOCOLATE? WAS I IN HEAVEN OR WHAT?!) and even normal teas had many, subtle, deliciously smelling varieties. Another wall of teapots (both modern and old Japanese style), mugs, accessories, sweeteners..  I could have spent an afternoon there and bought ALL THE THINGS, but knowing the reality of how airport folks treat cargo, I didn’t really have enough faith that my tea mugs would have survived in one piece.

I did buy some jasmine tea to fill up the tea tin I bought from Tokyu Hands a few days prior (I always seem to want to stock up on these things), as well as some tea as souvenirs.  I really wish we had something similar in the Netherlands – well, the closest I’ve come to this great selection of teas would be the Dille & Kamille tea listing. But the experience is not comparable – at Lupicia you’re being helped by attentive Japanese clerks who offer you teas and explanations about the products, while.. well, we Europeans don’t really “do” being followed around. Which is a pity in itself. Sigh.

That evening we wanted to take the opportunity to try more authentic, “proper” Japanese food.. so we went for soba (buckwheat) noodles!

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Amazing honeymoon in Japan (part 2)

Day 8

We started the day with a traditional Japanese “kaiseki” breakfast. I have to say that no matter how much I try, I can’t get used to pickled vegetables, rice and fish at breakfast…

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As the day was sunny and warm, we decided to take a little break from sightseeing for a bit and lay by the poolside!

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Lazy mode was in full swing until lunch when hunger drove us out of our comfortable chairs to seek sustenance, and the poolside was getting too busy for our liking, too.

After a quick lunch at the hotel we headed down to Hakone Yumoto station and wandered around for a bit. There wasn’t too much there, and the weather was too hot, so we returned to the hotel after awhile and just took it easy the rest of the day. It was time to store some energy for the next day’s train travel!

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20 days, 2 people – amazing honeymoon in Japan (part 1)

As promised – here’s the (beginning of the) account of our 20-day honeymoon in Japan. I’ll be noting down any worthwhile places to visit during my recount – so if you’re planning on going to Japan, there might be a few places here you didn’t think of visiting. :)

Despite our initial idea of going to the Maldives for our honeymoon and doing exactly nothing for a few weeks besides laying on a beach or swimming, we opted to go for something different from our previous vacations. For the longest time I’d wanted to go to Japan because I was a fan of the popular culture as well as curious to how a city vacation in a totally strange country would be like, and we agreed with Nils that since our finances were well-rounded, we could afford a long trip somewhere far away.

We looked at flights and accommodation only to find out we knew barely anything about travel in Japan. Sometimes we’d find a hotel/ryokan website only in Japanese, and even finding the proper prices was annoying. After some research I found a travel agency (Huzzah for Google!) in Amsterdam called Tozai Travel that specializes in trips to China, Japan and Asia in general, and we paid them a visit. If you’re interested in traveling to Japan, I do recommend you have a look at their website!

Tozai offers a dizzying variety of pre-made packages in all price classes, from backpackers to luxury seekers. They are also more than happy to customize these packages to suit your needs as well as book excursions for you – we did several excursions and all of them were nicely arranged, if slightly tightly scheduled. Due to the scheduling I had no time to feed the deer at Nara, which made me slightly grumpy.

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Me and the hubs in front of Imperial Palace in Tokyo during the Dynamic Tokyo Tour

But as with most stories, I’ll start from the beginning. :)

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We’re back! Brief update before the word and picture avalanche.

Our honeymoon trip-balooza ended yesterday with us sitting bottled up in a full airplane for good 11 hours, all the way back from Osaka (Kansai Airport) to Amsterdam, Schiphol. With some energy still in us we drove home and started dismantling the laundry pile 20 days of Japan’s humid heat combined with two curious tourists had created. Good adulting, I say, because while I was wrangling the laundry, the hubby popped by the grocery store for a few supplies to get us started back in the Netherlands again.

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To say that our honeymoon was fantastic would be an understatement of the year. All the way from our initial experience with the Japanese efficiency of immigration queues, vending machines and the lush green landscapes swooshing past as we sat in the bus to our first hotel, the trip was full of many wonders for us.

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We’re married!

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We got married last Friday, and the days around that turned into meeting my best friend as much as I could, seeing my family, eating piles of leftover cake and general busy-ness. Our big day also went by fast, but I made sure to savor every moment of the wonderful day that we planned! We had an awesome photoshoot in the morning (after I had rolled out of my bed 7.30 to get my makeup and hair done!), followed by a small lunch, and after which we had a beautiful ceremony at the city hall, surrounded by everyone we love – who also prepared a short movie about ourselves to be watched after the ceremony. After we were officially declared mr. and mrs, we had a short stunt of owl entertainment in a local park (photos to follow :) ) and once that was done, we headed to our restaurant to enjoy a multi-course culinary experience in Japanese food. Speeches were given, and I had to struggle to not destroy my mascara..

At the end of the night we escaped, tired but happy, to the safety of our own home – of which the second floor had been decorated in our absence by heart balloons, garlands, rose petals and lots of glittery hearts and things. Getting out of my wedding dress after the hot day was quite lovely, let me tell you that!

Tomorrow we’ll be flying off to Japan for 20 days, so the blog will be quiet for the time being. Thanks to everyone for your wishes and cards! I’ll be sure to go on a photography spree (and maybe even sketching spree) while in Japan, and will probably also place some more wedding pictures here before the start of the new school year. :)

See you in August! <3

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