Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Tuesday Tunes: Leela James

I like going to concerts, buy cds (prefer disks over downloads) and look for new tunes and artists on the internet. This week I would like to share with you an artist that I think deserves a bigger spotlight: Leela James.
The music comming from my speakers is rich in nice beats, has a funky rytmn and is completed with a soulful voice. That voice belongs to L.A. born Leela James (1983). I first heard her via her hitsingle Don't Speak' (that is a No Doubt cover indeed). I was taken away by the soulful rendition of the song. I didn't get her album though. Until I think a few years ago. It took a little while, but everytime when I heard one of her songs, I caught myself checking on the screen: who's this? It's the voice and the nice beats that get to me time after time.

Leela James released her third album in 2010 (I know, I know that's already two years ago): My Soul. I've been listening and loved it. It's a more grown and it has an even more soulful (is that possible, yes apparently) sound than her debut from 2005.

I leave you with a chance to listen to this soulfun woman at a live performance at Anthology (San Diego) in 2010.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Monday Miles - Mont Saint Michel

I love taking photos (using a humble Canon digital Ixus 80IS). Especially when travelling. Trying to capture stunning nature, a pretty building or just an atmosphere. Through this blog feature I would like to take you on a little travel. As I go through my (very long and always growing) list of places to-go and the (much shorter list) of the places I've been. On this winterday (we got our first snow here in the Netherlands!), I would like to take you with me to France.

We have this calendar with amazing photo's by National Geographic photographers. The one of 25th of January of a tidal island and monastry Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy (France). The picture was taken by James L. Stanfield in 1988. It's on my to-go list now.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Scrapbook Saturday: DIY Memoboard Love

Saturday is a day for creativity. Painting, craft, dance, drawing, painting, design, photography or diy projects. I would like to share something creative for you. This week a lovely DIY memoboard.

 This memoboard might take a little more time (due to time to let things dry), but is quite rewarding (clean desk!).

You'll need:
* Wool / thread / ribbon  (I used a pastel pink wool I had laying around. It's going to be covered in (white) paint. so any light colour will do)
* Canvas (mine was 50x60 cm, but you can make it as big or small as you like).
* Gummiband (mine was 6mm)
* White paint (of course you can use another colour if you like!)
* Glue
* Scissors
* Paintbrush(es)
* Pencil
* White pins

Six easy steps

1. Lay out your word with the wool. Try out different words, sizes and writing styles.
2. When you've found your word and size, write with pencil. Then trace with glue letter by letter, and stick your wool to the canvas. Let it dry.
3. When it's dry cover in paint. I painted quite thick, so it needed quite some time to dry.
4. You could also do two or more layers.
5. Attach the Gummiband in any kind of pattern. First on the side(s)...
6.  then in the middle.

I like mine (It will also look pretty bare).

Friday, 27 January 2012

Food adventures on Friday - A Strawberry Summer

It's a long way to summer, but I couldn't resist. I Wanted to share with you a very easy strawberry dessert this week.

I made it last summer, just for fun. I think the strawberries were bought at the supermarket, but you could use fresh ones that you've grown yourself (if it's in season), of course. Or you could use other kind(s) of fruit. Be creative and have fun (that was my strategy too).

And: as you can see: it's not that much of a job...
Below are some guidelines (it's not a recipe for me).
A strawberry summer:

Used ingredients:
* Whipcream,
* Strawberries (chopped in half)
* Chocolate (I used decoration we had laying around. But you could also grate some chocolate of your choice).

Pop in a layer of strawberries, cover with the whipcream and chocolate decoration (or grate your own).
And to make it look pretty: a strawberry on top with a little dot of whipcream.


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Wisdom on Wednesday

One of the things I find inspiration in for life, whether it's the good or the bad; are quotes by people who, generally speaking, have a little more experience in life than me. Or just in proverbs, lyrics or books. Enjoy some inspiration to help you through the second half of the week! All are photos are taken by me, but of course quotes/lyrics used belong to the people quoted.
Roald Dahl was a famous British author. This is a photo (of a photo) from Parc des Buttes-Chaumont (Paris).  original photo made with a disposable camera in 2002.
Marcus Aurelius was a Roman emperor. Photo was taken in Milan (Italy) in 2010.

Henry van Dyke was an Amercian author. Photo: From the Taipei101 (taiwan)  in 2008. Night was falling over the city, wonderful sight.
Francesca Battistelli is the American singer of this uplifting song. Photo taken in Romania 2007.

Joanna Field was the pseudonym of Marion Milner, a British author. Photo taken at Taroko National Park, Taiwan in 2008.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Tuesday Tunes: Wouter Hamel

I like going to concerts, buy cds (prefer disks over downloads) and look for new tunes and artists on the internet. Just before the weekend I treated myself with a new cd that I would like to share with you. After a little hard time to chose (I have a little wish-list for cds), I went for the album: Lohengrin by Wouter Hamel.

He is a musician making pop-jazz-just call-it-nice music, from The Netherlands. And Lohengrin is his third record (the first he produced by himself). I could try write about him, but he can do that way better on his website.

Also I know from experience, it's great fun to see Wouter and his band (Rory Ronde, Sven Happel, Jasper van Hulten and Gijs Anders van Straalen) play live.
Cover photo by Pablo Delfos, Check his photography. I think it's beautiful.
The album is happy, sad and a little nostalgic. But what I liked most of it, was listening to all the different sounds and instruments that are used in the songs. Listen to this live session of the song Zhavaronki by Wouter Hamel and his band.

Enjoy Tuesday!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Monday Miles - The sky is the limit

Maybe you've noticed I've been comming up with these images for my blogposts. They're only a small part of a bigger picture, taken by me. I love taking photos (but I'm not a pro at all, using a humble Canon digital Ixus 80IS). Especially when travelling. Trying to capture stunning nature, a pretty building or just an atmosphere. Through this blog feature I would like to take you on a little travel. As I go through my (very long and always growing) list of places to-go and the (much shorter list) of the places I've been. This monday I would like to share with you the whole picture from the image above.

It's taken from an airplane somewhere above Munich (Germany) in 2010. Together with some people from church we were on our way to Romania for a working vacation.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

(B)log #1

Happy one week aniversity to The Bright Side of Life! 
I decided to share with you my experience of blogging every once in a while. Because blogging is a new thing, it has to find a place in my life.

And to help that (the giving blogging a place in my life), this week I've had fun comming up with features, linked to the days of the week. You've seen a few already: Wisdom on Wednesday, Thankful Thursday, Food adventures on Friday and Scrapbook Saturday. This week I will introduce you to my Monday, Tuesday and Sunday features. I tied these names to topics that are important and fun to me. And with these features, it will be easier to plan ahead a little. That's what I will try to do today. Make a plan. Sort of (meaning: wish me luck ^_^).

One of the things I bummed into this week is whether it's ok to not post one day? I couldn't find the time on tuesday to post. Then I thought, this is my blog. I set the rules, right? Maybe guidelines is a better word. But it's good to have them writen down. So, I set up five guidelines for this blog:
  • Post the things I really like.
  • Use my own photos/art if possible...
  • ...in all other cases: properly give credit (and send an email) to the original blogger/photographer/... (Very important!).
  • It's not a crime to skip a day.
  • Have fun (very important too)
Have a lovely week!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Scrapbook Saturday - DIY: Fluffy bracelet

Saturday is a day for creativity. Painting, craft, dance, drawing, painting, design, photography or diy projects. I would like to share something creative for you. 

My fluffy grey bracelet
A little while ago I made this eye catching fluffy bracelet.
Grey is once of my favorite colour (according to the clothes in my closet), but of course you could do this in any colour, or even a rainbow or something.

You'll need:
* some wool
* Old (cheap) bracelet (I had a bunch of old bangles laying around and used one of those). The colour doesn't matter, it's going to be covered up anyway.
* Scissors

Three easy steps
Note: there are no photo's of the proces, because I didn't know I would blog about this when I made it. (I will add later, because I want to make another one (maybe white? Or black? What do you think?).

1. Make some pompoms (This video by Creature Comforts was so very helpful!), just measure by the eye, laying your pompoms on the bracelet until it's filled up. I tried to use two fingers, or even one (it's not impossible, just make sure you tie in the middle of the bundle). The more fingers you use, the bigger the pom pom. But since it's going to be around a bracelet, I'd recommend you to try small.

2. Tie the pompoms around your bracelet. Make sure they're tight. I used double and even triple knots, just to make sure. Also, make sure you tie them on the inside of the bracelet (it will look more pretty).

3. Cut the long ends.

Enjoy wearing!

Friday, 20 January 2012

Food adventures on Friday - plate cookie(s)

I learn cooking and baking stuff by doing (with the kind help of recipes found all over the place). So, my time in the kitchen feels like a little adventure sometimes. And today it was an adventure indeed. I got cookies that were miles away from what I had in mind (but tasted yum after all).

The idea was as following: make simple plain cookies, with a some white chocolate tucked in the middle and diped in milk chocolate after being baked.

Reallity kicked in when they went into the oven: after about five minutes they didn't look so tasty, all egg (i put in just one) comming out. Not good. Keep going anyway, maybe it will be all right later on. I think the egg didn't mix so well... because it just looked bad on one half of the plate. And it was the first time trying and kneeding this kind of dough by hand. At this point I droped the diped chocolate idea. But...

1. White chocolate yum 2. kneeding the dough 3. Before 4. When baked: plate cookie.
...Despite the fact that the cookies didn't come out of the oven as beautiful as I hoped for and all sticked together (I call them plate cookies now), they do taste quite well! And that's what it is all about in the end, right?
What about your adventures in the kitchen?

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Thankful Thursday

It doesn't hurt anyone to remind yourself of how lucky you are and to be thankful for that. So, when I stumbled up on the blog of Julie of Perfectly Imperfect (please go visit her inspirational blog, it's lovely), reading her 7 things posts; I thought that's a great idea to try, just to remind myself of how lucky I am.

So, here are seven things I'm thankful for this week:
  • The changing of seasons. This week we finally got some (slightly) freezing temperatures and with that I finally believed winter arrived. I felt like we've been stuck in Autumn for a long time now. And, as cold as it can be, I like the change.
  • Beautiful clear blue and starry skies that  came with those freezy nights.
  • Free knowledge. The Wikipedia blackout (and also others) reminded me and maybe you also, of how big the role of the internetconnection is to us in this age. I joke around sometimes saying: "if I don't know, Google knows." That's a kind of freedom that not everybody in this world has, so we better be thankful for that.
  • Baking apple chips yesterday and watching them dry out in the oven (like a kid watching the laundry going round in the machine). I found the recipe on the Joli G√Ęteau blog (it's in Dutch). I will have to practise a little with the recipe, but the ones that came out really dry were yummy.
  • Having a mother and daughter day at the Ikea store.
  • Discover a bottle of honey in our kitchencabinet. Yum.
  • Being surprised by two very sweet facebook messages, from sweet people.
How about you? What are you thankful for this week? Leave a reply and let me know!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012


Since I follow so many blogs (and the number is growing rapidly), I like Bloglovin' to keep track of all the new posts. If you like too: simply add me on your Bloglovin' profile.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Wisdom on Wednesday

One of the things I find inspiration in for life, whether it's the good or the bad; are quotes by people who, generally speaking, have a little more experience in life than me (at 22: a twentysomething). Enjoy some inspiration I collected last year. They're set on photos taken by me.

Abdul Kalam was the 11th president of India Photo taken in Lugang, Taiwan
Photo taken from the dome of the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome in 2009

Jim Rohn was a business philosopher. Photo was taken on a wonderful summer evening in 2011.

Pete Philly is a Dutch hiphopper, photo taken somewere above England in 2010.

This quote was an eye opener for me. Cesare Pavese was an Italian writer and poet (Wikipedia). Taken in Antwerp (Belgium) in 2009.

Monday, 16 January 2012


This view from my window is a must share.


Beautiful Blue Monday

To brighten up the most depressing day of the year, I put together pictures of items that are beautiful, blue and make me smile.
clockwise: some 'blue books', a bracelet (bought in Romania some years ago), small wallet (bought in Taiwan last year), (part of) a dress (bought in Rome two years ago), Jeans ( that I'm wearing right now), three T-shirts.
Or maybe not so blue?
I'm part of the whole Blue Monday hype now. Hype, not an actual thing. I discovered some interesting things when I wanted to know who came up with the date. In 2005 a Cliff Arnal came up with a formula which had calculated the most depressing day on the monday in the last full week of January. But actually it was all PR for a traveling compagny (for the very obvious reason: sell (sunny, happy vacations). Very smart.

Want to know more about the story?
Ben Goldacre, writer for The Guardian wrote a lengthy article on his blog in 2009 and a shorter article about this hype on The Guardian about a year ago.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

The Bright side of Life (?)

There are many, many beautiful, funny, good and amazing things in life. I want to share some the small wonders of this world I found on the web with you every week or month or so. Just to let you know that the world is a beautiful place.

Those are the words that started a note on my facebook: #1. The bright side of life in April 2010. A short post in which I wrote about three things I found on the internet that I thought were worth sharing.

I posted a total of six of these kind of notes, once a month (sort of). The most recent post is from about a year ago. For those who are interested, you can find them on the tab The facebook notes. Then I switched to the microblog website Tumblr in May of 2011 (but keeping the title, The bright side of life). Loving the medium for the fact that I could also collect all the interesting, fun and inspiring things I found along the way. But now I feel like Tumblr is not giving me enough room to write. For me Tumblr is a visual thing, more than a text thing.

And now, there is the Bright side of Life-blog! This blog will continue the subjects I started with on my very first posts: music, travel, food, art and fun and inspiring things I find on the internet (such as DIY-projects that I did or put on my to-do-list).

I'm jumping into the world of blogging from today on.
Enjoy reading and wish me a little bit of luck!

Lots of love,