30.9.12

Born This Way Ball

So many things have been going down the past week, I have hardly been able to keep up with it all on my blog! Let's start with the most recent AWESOME happening: I went to see Lady Gaga's Born This Way Ball in Antwerp yesterday. I'm a huge Gaga fan (I wrote my master's dissertation on her) and I had already bought standing tickets for the show, but then Skype emailed me last week to offer me two awesome seated tickets so I gave my original tickets to my sister and her friend. Shared joy = double joy in my book.

As I'm typing, little monsters are counting down for Gaga's second Antwerp show and I SO wish I could go twice as well, as the the entire evening was so amazing. My boyfriend and me were seated at the front right of the stage, maybe 10-12 meters from one side of the Monster Pit. Gaga is an artistic mastermind as far as I'm concerned, and the entire show was planned to perfection. My favorite part was the Highway Unicorn intro: Gaga came in as an Alien Predator queen riding a unicorn, looking like one of the four horse(wo)men of the apocalypse. Iconic, dark and fantastical.


As Gaga slowly and ominously trodded by me, I actually felt a *PANG* in my heart. I'm not as big a fan as those that camped outside for a week to be sure of a Monster Pit Pass, but I have felt a connection with this young woman for the past 4-5 years. I have spent almost a year studying her and the motives behind her work for my master's thesis, and seeing her walk by only a few meters in front of me felt surreal. A tiny woman filled with inspiration and love for her fans, heading a huge tour that takes her away from her home, her loved ones and her privacy. 

It baffles me how people continuously repeat that she "tries too hard". How can anyone try too hard? Is success only acceptable when it comes without trying? She fights to get her visions realized, to reach people with her positive message and to change the world. One can simply not try hard enough if those are your goals. I look up to Lady Gaga in a big way, and I may or may not have blinked away a tear at some points of her act.

Of course not everything was perfect: for one I wish the show was even longer (which actually is a positive), but I also noticed her sounding a bit nasal and out of breath at times. Maybe Gaga had a cold. But even with those small faults pushing her beneath her usual vocal expertise, she still blows big pop stars like Rihanna and Katy Perry WAY out of the water. Safe to say, I'll be first in line to buy tickets for her next tour as well. GAGA 4 EVER

MAJOR thanks to Skype for the tickets!! Even though I was seated among a bunch of random people who were obviously not into it at all, determined to stay seated AT ALL TIMES which actually caused Gaga to give them all a tongue lashing forcing them to stand the fuck up. I was glad she did because I felt like an asshole standing upright on my own, but I hated her thinking I was one of those faux-fans :( :( :( GAGA I WUB U

And this is what I wore. My style has been a bit more edgy and Gaga in general lately, so I had an easy time picking out a special outfit I felt great in. Keywords: eyeliner, wild hair, denim, studs, bra, safety pins, fake ink, leggings and platform boots. Very Kelly Bundy.

 bra, leggings: H&M - vest: thrifted, DIY - boots: Ebay - earring: Topshop - watch: c/o Swatch - tattoos: Faketattoos.se, Tattooforaweek.com


PS: First day at my job tomorrow! EXCITED

27.9.12

Autumn Night, Floral and Fur Collar

dress, leggings, fur collar: H&M - vest: DIY - boots: Ebay - watch: c/o Swatch

Darker days means that the window of time within which one can take pictures shrinks a substantial amount. So here you see me, photographed at around half past seven at night, when the sun had already set and the sky was turning a dark blue. My amazing 50mm lens makes it look SO much lighter than it actually was, but the noise in the last picture gives you a pretty good idea of how high my ISO had to be to be able to take pictures.

Still, I like how moody these shots turned out. They capture that feel of a crisp in the air that gets softened by the warm yellow of streetlights. It's like I can SMELL the holidays getting closer with every early night. Aaaah, fall, maybe I love you after all.

I probably won't be posting tomorrow night, as I'll be selling my gear at our blogger closet sale in Antwerp. Hope to see you there!

26.9.12

Hair: DIY Highlights


LIKE MY NEW HAIR? I was sick and tired of the defined ombre I have been rocking for a year and a half now, and I wanted to turn it into something softer and lighter. After a failure at doing it myself last weekend (no result whatsoever), I enlisted my mom and sis for some help to highlight that shit with an at home bleach kit.  

We divided my hair into a couple of rough sections, and then we just slapped the bleach onto separate strands of hair, making sure we'd alternate the interspacing and width of the strands. We completely saturated the ends of those strands, and only lightly stroked some bleach on the lengths up to a few centimeters before the roots. Does that make sense?

My best advice:

1) let your hair get greasy before you bleach, it protects its health
2) use the right kind of bleach: dark hair like mine really does need a strong product if you want to see any change in color
3) use your common sense and THINK of the desired result while brushing on the bleach on strands of hair: even if you're going for a nonchalance in the result, you'll have to work deliberately
4) don't overdo it because you're getting impatient. That's what got me the sort of blotchy result
5) don't worry too much. Your hair won't melt off or die. Hair is dead anyway!

I probably annoyed the crap out of my mom and sis with my constant "AMAGAD MY HAIR WILL SUCK"s, but in the end they did a wonderful job. I LOVE how light my hair is now. Only now do I realize how harsh the dark brown was and how it made me look older. I'm definitely not going back to the super dark hair in a while! In fact, I might even go a bit lighter in a month or so. I just need to even out some blotchy bits on the top of my head and then my highlights will be just perf.

The success of these highlights makes me want to postpone the purple dyejob for a while. I'll still go purple, but not before I'm tired of this look! How do you like it?


Bonus: some photo's of my guy and me goofing around.




BYE!

25.9.12

Jobhunting: Insecurities and Tips

I'm the worst: Friday I promised you guys to share some of my tips on how to find a job as a recent graduate the next day, and then I totally forgot. But now I remember! Also, I'm not actually the worst. Forgetting a promise is totally not as bad as, like, killing kittens. Chillax! Besides, it was the WEEKEND! Who looks for a job on the weekend, right? Nolifers! Watching TV and browsing endless pictures of Rachel Bilson's perfect highlights is way cooler than that.

ANYWAY, now that this bit of silliness is out of the way, let me get to the point. Last Friday, I was hired for my first real job after graduating and it feels SO good. A huge relief and an affirmation of me being on the right track. I had been sending out my résumé to all kinds of open positions, and after about a month of doing so I had gotten pretty beat down.

//No  experience, overqualified//

Maybe it's the economy, but I could hardly find ANY job offers I qualified for. I have a Master's degree in communication sciences, so I was looking for positions in marketing, PR, communications and/or editing: I think I can be pretty versatile to a future employer. It didn't take long before I realized that pretty much 100% of those jobs ask for someone with previous experience in a similar job. Even my internship and 2 years of blogging experience in the world of editing and communications proved to be not enough.
I decided to lower my expectations and start looking for desk jobs as a secretarial assistant. Something that did not entice me AT ALL. I have once worked as secretary at a law firm before University, and it was the most boring job I have ever done. But I was willing to suck it up for the payment, because a girl's got to eat ya know.
So I started looking in that direction, but still I got back replies concerning my lack of experience or (even worse) about me being overqualified. SRSLY PEOPLE HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO GET A JOB/EXPERIENCE LIKE THIS? Having heard stories from friends, I'm pretty sure everyone in my age bracket is familiar with these qualms. Rest assured: it's not you. It's THE WORLD.

 //Doubts rise as success slips away//

Looking for a job (and failing) can be ridiculously frustrating from time to time: you start starry eyed and ready to take on the world, but with every disappointment your confidence drops a little bit until you are ready to denounce your degree and wish you had just done the sensible thing and went to law school or something.
I remember telling my boyfriend I did NOT regret studying communication sciences because even if it would not benefit my career, I had loved every minute of it. I think I was just trying to quiet my inner fears and insecurities by saying that. I had worked hard for a year to save up for Uni, and seeing four years of studying, reading, writing and immersing myself in my studies go down the drain with no one to value it was like a stab to the heart. Like Springsteen sings: is a dream a lie if it don't come true?
But then I got hired. For my talents, for my ambitions and for my experience. After the past month, I truly realize how lucky I am for getting this outcome. And I hope you all get that same result, SO! After a super long winded intro, here are my tips for jobhunting as a recent graduate in one, two, three.

ONE//Pick your position

Start by making a list of your priorities: what field do you see yourself working in? Are you prepared to travel? How many hours do you want to work? What time can you spend on commuting? How ambitious are you? Compare different concerns to find out what matters most to you. In the end, I realized that a short commute time and a job where I'd get some freedom and responsibility were my no 1 priorities.
I would have been willing to commute longer for an AWESOME job, but the job would have to be EXTREMELY awesome. Having your list of priorities spelled out gives you the dedication you'll need in job interviews. If your future boss gets the feeling you don't know what you want, he won't be convinced. And neither will you.

TWO//Dare to be picky

After hearing horror stories of graduates being unemployed for months and months because they would not accept any job outside of the field set by their degree, I had convinced myself I would keep my options open and my expectations low. Of course this has benefits, but I actually only experienced the downsides of this mindset: you'll start applying all over the place and you lose track of what you would really hope to achieve in your heart of hearts.
If you have parental support or the luxury to stretch your means a little while longer: DO dare to be picky. Not too picky of course (sacrifices will always have to be made), but picky enough not to jump at a job that would just depress you while your passion lies somewhere else completely. Also: be honest to yourself about what you really want, even if it turns out to have nothing to do with your degree.

THREE//Go for it

Seriously, I wouldn't call myself a go-getter but I have never been to afraid to ask questions, to ask for advice or to go ahead and tell people I'm looking for a job. Don't wait until someone asks about you, but be out there and and keep your eyes open 24/7 for opportunities and possibilities.
If you LOVE a certain company, just send them a fun letter telling them why you respect their brand and attach your résumé, stipulating why you'd make a great addition to their team. Companies LOVE that shit, for real. Your application will be earnest and you'll immediately make connections based on common interests. Even if you don't get a job straight away, people will remember you and maybe recommend you to someone else. If not, you've just made a connection with interesting people: you always win something. So pick up that phone and connect!
Also, applying for a job spontaneously fills you with positive energy. Even if the position feels too good to be true, you can't help but fantasize about the possibilities that lie ahead. It stimulates your ambition and inspiration. And let me tell you one thing: Keeping positive energy flowing while looking for a job is incredibly important if you don't want to end up wearing your PJ's 24/7 because you're too depressed to shower.



Was this of any help? Do you have tips, fears or experiences to share? Good luck on your jobhunt!


Let me conclude with this completely unrelated picture of me wearing a poncho and a hat.


24.9.12

Cape, Floral Leggings, Windy Day

cape, leggings: H&M - boots: c/o Lucky Vintage Seattle - sweater: old - watch: c/o Swatch


JEBUS this weather is atrocious! We took these pictures in the five minutes that weren't scary-dangerously stormy. Wouldn't surprise me if someone got a little surprise in the form of a tree or two on their car this afternoon. Not that I'd wish that on anyone, you know. I'm not a spiteful person.

If you hadn't noticed (or if you haven't read EVERY BLOGGER out there nag about this for about three weeks): fall is here! AMAGAD! For me this means that I'm starting to plan my Halloween decorations (pumpkin and costume), and that I'm breaking out the boots and the big, cozy sweaters and capes. 

I announce F/W 2012 as THE SEASON OF CAPES! For no reason at all but because I think I look super nonchalant "je-ne-sais-quoi" in them. And they feel like wearing a blanket. Actually, according to my boyfriend they also look like that.

As you can see, my efforts to highlight my hair at home did nothing at all. My hair looks exactly the same to me. Notice any difference? I'm trying again Wednesday. I'm going for this look:


GOING SUNKISSED FOR FALL, SO LOGICAL! But this way, my purple will be brighter! And I'm sort of over the whole ombre look. I want it to be more subtle. Like?

23.9.12

Peach, Lime and Platforms

sweater: La Petite Marmoset - pants: H&M - platforms: Ebay - necklace: Diamanti Per Tutti

Fall calls for covering up, but I still try to stretch summer by wearing a bit of color. I have like half a year ahead of me to wear navy, grey, black and brown :( Ugh.

The more I wear these platforms, the more I love them. At first I had to get used to how weird they look, but I've totally grown accustomed to them. Lesson of the day: wearing platforms is like riding a bike. If you loved them back in the 90s, you'll probably grow to love them now. And lord knows I loved them back in the 90s. SPICE UP YOUR LIFE.

Also, I hardly ever go there but this outfit has a distinct 80s feel to me. No? Something about the messy bun and the sorbet colors with the sneakers here. A late 80s aerobics Barbie would wear this fo sho.


PS: I just tried to give myself Rachel Bilson esque highlights to prepare my hair for an all-over purple hairdye sesh, but I don't think the bleach did anything. Having super dark hair can really suck from time to time :( ESPECIALLY since my baby sis just bleached hers and she went ALL THE WAY TO BLOND. It's not fair :(

22.9.12

Beanie, Gingham, Boots

skirt: Forever21 - top: H&M - beanie: Ebay - boots: Lucky Vintage Seattle - coat: Pimkie

If I was still a student, this is probably what I'd wear to my first days of school. Some sort of postmodern nod to a mix classic youth-associated styles. This particular outfit has touches of grunge (beanie, boots, hair) along with some preppy elements (trench, basic white T, the gingham skirt). 

I think the look is slightly under accessorized. The t-shirt could use a print, or I could have thrown on a scarf, some bracelets and a bag. Sometimes I really suck at finishing an outfit and end up with some sort of halfway-there product but ya know, shit happens. 

If you post outfits almost daily, you can't afford the luxury of only featuring outfits that really work. Sometimes I don't have a clue what to wear, nothing works, everything sucks and when I combine items I just end up with something COMPLETELY un-me. Sometimes, ultra simple and un-accessorized is what I feel like. What I am.
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