Note: I'm on my way to London as you're reading this! Trains and a flight toward destination.

My first and former post on my life being an introvert got many of you interested in a post about socializing since I've mentioned that I'm starting to up my game in the socializing field because I am quite fed up with feeling held back and restricted by my introversion many times. Not that I hate being an introvert, I love it most of the times and have come to terms with it a long time ago. It's just that I'd feel frustrated with myself in situations where I go "Hey, you could've talked to that person and gotten to know them when you had the chance and wouldn't have shat your pants! Now you won't have the chance again".

And I've wanted this regret to stop. And I wanted to make more friends because even though I already have the bestest friends I could ask for, I don't mind getting to know more people at all. That's a misconception about introverted people – no, we do not actually hate people. Not as much and as often as you think. We just need to recharge from socialising with you, we don't actually hate you.

First things first


If you're an introvert and reading this, please don't feel threatened to start forcing yourself to socialise more. Do what you feel comfortable with. Always. On the other hand I hope I can be helpful in some ways because I know it can be hard to put yourself out there. It's easy to feel like the odd one out, just see this post as a guide to being more social on your own terms and without compromising who you are.

Generally... 


Extroversion and introversion aren't black and white. They're just labels but that doesn't mean you're only one or only the other. Everyone has a bit of both inside them and it's possible to balance it out sometimes. It's important not to try and go against your nature by trying to turn into an extrovert.

As an introvert you might think that social situations are all draining because of either lack of motivation, guilt, fear of disaster or low self-esteem. In reality, these situations aren't just made for extroverts but also for introverts, maybe even especially for introverts.

Although society generally pays more attention to extroverted people, it's the introverts that instinctively know how to navigate the deepest of waters in social scenarios, and they're most possibly the better listeners.

What I realised


#1 I lack confidence. I just dread social gatherings because I am intimidated by extroverts. Not specifically because they're extroverts but sometimes I would fear that I could be too boring in a conversation that I'd shush people away. Going with friends I'm comfortable with helps tremendously as they're great at boosting my confidence and I can integrate myself in ongoing conversations way easier.

#2 I know I'm not the only introvert. I try to scan the rooms to find possible fellow introverts. It's easier for me to talk to them. 

#3 I'm a great listener. And I know people like to talk about themselves. So I ask active, open-ended questions and try to get to know people more. There are always new people at flat parties so I always have opportunities to ask strangers a bunch of questions on their business. 

#4 Have an out, no matter what social scenario it is. If you feel uncomfortable and drained, go home. Say you have to do stuff, you have errands to run, a dog to walk, a sister to take care of. Don't let socialising get ahead of you and try to stay comfortable. 

#5 Find what works for you. Maybe you feel tired and can't concentrate at late events and prefer daytime. If you don't like clubs and sweaty dance floors (like me), you might like smaller parties and gatherings at someone's house more.

#6 Be prepared. Have some sayings ready that could break the ice more easily. When I'm at a birthday party of a friend and talking to a stranger, I'll ask something like "And how do you know Lisa?' or "Are you one of the 90% of architects in this room?". Listen and gather info about the setting you're in, that's what you're best at, right? Make use of it. :-) 

#7 Don't be so hard on yourself. If you really don't feel like going, don't go. Even if people really want you to go and keep encouraging you.

#8 Get to know yourself. I find that I isolate myself quite often and don't realize that I'm doing it because I think it's just me recharging. Sometimes I get "forced" by friends to go out and meet them and then I'd realize it's not too bad and that I've just been in a dark hole down there somewhere, unwilling to get out. So know the difference between staying home to recharge and isolating yourself and making it worse for yourself by making yourself believe you're alone.


What do you do as an introvert? Any extroverts with an opinion?

Until then – stay yourself,
Arden

Socialising As An Introvert

2/27/2017


Note: I'm on my way to London as you're reading this! Trains and a flight toward destination.

My first and former post on my life being an introvert got many of you interested in a post about socializing since I've mentioned that I'm starting to up my game in the socializing field because I am quite fed up with feeling held back and restricted by my introversion many times. Not that I hate being an introvert, I love it most of the times and have come to terms with it a long time ago. It's just that I'd feel frustrated with myself in situations where I go "Hey, you could've talked to that person and gotten to know them when you had the chance and wouldn't have shat your pants! Now you won't have the chance again".

And I've wanted this regret to stop. And I wanted to make more friends because even though I already have the bestest friends I could ask for, I don't mind getting to know more people at all. That's a misconception about introverted people – no, we do not actually hate people. Not as much and as often as you think. We just need to recharge from socialising with you, we don't actually hate you.

First things first


If you're an introvert and reading this, please don't feel threatened to start forcing yourself to socialise more. Do what you feel comfortable with. Always. On the other hand I hope I can be helpful in some ways because I know it can be hard to put yourself out there. It's easy to feel like the odd one out, just see this post as a guide to being more social on your own terms and without compromising who you are.

Generally... 


Extroversion and introversion aren't black and white. They're just labels but that doesn't mean you're only one or only the other. Everyone has a bit of both inside them and it's possible to balance it out sometimes. It's important not to try and go against your nature by trying to turn into an extrovert.

As an introvert you might think that social situations are all draining because of either lack of motivation, guilt, fear of disaster or low self-esteem. In reality, these situations aren't just made for extroverts but also for introverts, maybe even especially for introverts.

Although society generally pays more attention to extroverted people, it's the introverts that instinctively know how to navigate the deepest of waters in social scenarios, and they're most possibly the better listeners.

What I realised


#1 I lack confidence. I just dread social gatherings because I am intimidated by extroverts. Not specifically because they're extroverts but sometimes I would fear that I could be too boring in a conversation that I'd shush people away. Going with friends I'm comfortable with helps tremendously as they're great at boosting my confidence and I can integrate myself in ongoing conversations way easier.

#2 I know I'm not the only introvert. I try to scan the rooms to find possible fellow introverts. It's easier for me to talk to them. 

#3 I'm a great listener. And I know people like to talk about themselves. So I ask active, open-ended questions and try to get to know people more. There are always new people at flat parties so I always have opportunities to ask strangers a bunch of questions on their business. 

#4 Have an out, no matter what social scenario it is. If you feel uncomfortable and drained, go home. Say you have to do stuff, you have errands to run, a dog to walk, a sister to take care of. Don't let socialising get ahead of you and try to stay comfortable. 

#5 Find what works for you. Maybe you feel tired and can't concentrate at late events and prefer daytime. If you don't like clubs and sweaty dance floors (like me), you might like smaller parties and gatherings at someone's house more.

#6 Be prepared. Have some sayings ready that could break the ice more easily. When I'm at a birthday party of a friend and talking to a stranger, I'll ask something like "And how do you know Lisa?' or "Are you one of the 90% of architects in this room?". Listen and gather info about the setting you're in, that's what you're best at, right? Make use of it. :-) 

#7 Don't be so hard on yourself. If you really don't feel like going, don't go. Even if people really want you to go and keep encouraging you.

#8 Get to know yourself. I find that I isolate myself quite often and don't realize that I'm doing it because I think it's just me recharging. Sometimes I get "forced" by friends to go out and meet them and then I'd realize it's not too bad and that I've just been in a dark hole down there somewhere, unwilling to get out. So know the difference between staying home to recharge and isolating yourself and making it worse for yourself by making yourself believe you're alone.


What do you do as an introvert? Any extroverts with an opinion?

Until then – stay yourself,
Arden
One of many gorgeous shots I took while going on a fun hike with friends

In the Life


One day left until I get on my plane to London and stay there for the next six months. I think it's a long time not being able to hug my sister (yes, we're actually this close and never really fight) but when I think of my best friend for example, who's studying in the Netherlands long-time, I consider 6 months to be passing in no time. I've emptied my flat, which has been my safe place until now and I'm truly saddened to have let go of it, and I gave it away to someone else who's in need of it. After my internship I'll move into a shared flat, I suppose, which will help me financially and socially. But that's for late August. For now I'm concentrating on my upcoming little British moments and I cannot wait for the room viewings next week and what's to come. 

Music


  • I had forgotten how amazing The Vamps are and how much I loved their music a year back or more. Now I'm back to listening to them non-stop.
  • I've made a London based playlist on Spotify and if you'd like, you can follow it as I'm pretty sure the list will be long! 
  • A while back I saw Jakub Ondra sing on the streets of Dresden and had to check him out on YouTube. We had talked before I went home, still in awe of his smooth voice. 
  • I still come back to this! 
  • With a little deeper digging I found this awesome gem by Orla!


Posts you might've missed:



Links



Until then – stay kind,
Arden

FOTW | Thoughts on leaving & lovely singing

2/26/2017

One of many gorgeous shots I took while going on a fun hike with friends

In the Life


One day left until I get on my plane to London and stay there for the next six months. I think it's a long time not being able to hug my sister (yes, we're actually this close and never really fight) but when I think of my best friend for example, who's studying in the Netherlands long-time, I consider 6 months to be passing in no time. I've emptied my flat, which has been my safe place until now and I'm truly saddened to have let go of it, and I gave it away to someone else who's in need of it. After my internship I'll move into a shared flat, I suppose, which will help me financially and socially. But that's for late August. For now I'm concentrating on my upcoming little British moments and I cannot wait for the room viewings next week and what's to come. 

Music


  • I had forgotten how amazing The Vamps are and how much I loved their music a year back or more. Now I'm back to listening to them non-stop.
  • I've made a London based playlist on Spotify and if you'd like, you can follow it as I'm pretty sure the list will be long! 
  • A while back I saw Jakub Ondra sing on the streets of Dresden and had to check him out on YouTube. We had talked before I went home, still in awe of his smooth voice. 
  • I still come back to this! 
  • With a little deeper digging I found this awesome gem by Orla!


Posts you might've missed:



Links



Until then – stay kind,
Arden

Okay so I have been saying this for so long and so often already that you are probably a little bit annoyed by it now. But I'm headed to London in three days and I had to downgrade my belongings and minimize my wardrobe to make out what to take with me and what I could've gotten rid off a long time ago.

This was a great reason to sort out my clothes and other belongings because wow, there's so much I can donate, sell and gift now. Good riddance of baggage that I didn't need in the first place. I feel much "lighter" on my plate now and am proud to say that I could fit all of my necessary belongings into a 10kg carry-on and a 20kg luggage. Then there's my Kanken backpack and that's it. This is basically what I could go with, anywhere. This is the stuff I could take with me moving into new places and I wouldn't need more. Okay, my ukulele didn't fit. But that's besides the point.

There's a post I made about my packing list for short trips (light packing and carry-on only) which includes all the necessary stuff that I absolutely need so I think I won't need to elaborate twice on that ;-).

What did change, though, is what I need for my longer stay now, and the internship of course, which would include:

  • a DKB VISA banking card (I can get cash abroad for free with this)
  • important personal documents (like insurance papers) apart from travel documents
  • copies of my travel documents
  • camera equipment
  • weather appropriate clothing 
  • a strong umbrella
  • one detox water bottle
  • a pair of new shoes with heels
  • a pair of black basic shoes if I can't be arsed with high heels every day
  • a decent bag for work 
  • my own hair dryer and straightener (which I use as a curler)
  • one fancy dress for special opportunities 
  • favourite skin care products
  • important medication
  • personally connected objects and posters to make my new place over there home-y

Any fellow Londoner bloggers out there? Feel free to contact me for collaborations and sit-down talks anytime! For the upcoming six months I am going to tag my London based posts under 6 In London so if you're looking for them, you know where to find them.

Until then – stay on the look-out,
Arden

Pack With Me For London

2/24/2017


Okay so I have been saying this for so long and so often already that you are probably a little bit annoyed by it now. But I'm headed to London in three days and I had to downgrade my belongings and minimize my wardrobe to make out what to take with me and what I could've gotten rid off a long time ago.

This was a great reason to sort out my clothes and other belongings because wow, there's so much I can donate, sell and gift now. Good riddance of baggage that I didn't need in the first place. I feel much "lighter" on my plate now and am proud to say that I could fit all of my necessary belongings into a 10kg carry-on and a 20kg luggage. Then there's my Kanken backpack and that's it. This is basically what I could go with, anywhere. This is the stuff I could take with me moving into new places and I wouldn't need more. Okay, my ukulele didn't fit. But that's besides the point.

There's a post I made about my packing list for short trips (light packing and carry-on only) which includes all the necessary stuff that I absolutely need so I think I won't need to elaborate twice on that ;-).

What did change, though, is what I need for my longer stay now, and the internship of course, which would include:

  • a DKB VISA banking card (I can get cash abroad for free with this)
  • important personal documents (like insurance papers) apart from travel documents
  • copies of my travel documents
  • camera equipment
  • weather appropriate clothing 
  • a strong umbrella
  • one detox water bottle
  • a pair of new shoes with heels
  • a pair of black basic shoes if I can't be arsed with high heels every day
  • a decent bag for work 
  • my own hair dryer and straightener (which I use as a curler)
  • one fancy dress for special opportunities 
  • favourite skin care products
  • important medication
  • personally connected objects and posters to make my new place over there home-y

Any fellow Londoner bloggers out there? Feel free to contact me for collaborations and sit-down talks anytime! For the upcoming six months I am going to tag my London based posts under 6 In London so if you're looking for them, you know where to find them.

Until then – stay on the look-out,
Arden


This time in the Tea With ... series, I'm introducing to you Adele, a 20 year old German power girl living in Mallorca. Her blog naemora.com focuses on Adele's journey towards a sustainable lifestyle (which means minimalism, living with zero waste, slow fashion and green beauty products) and female empowerment and feminism on all kinds of levels. I admire her ethics and personally love following her on her journey towards a sustainable lifestyle so I can copy and adapt to bits and bobs and make it my own lifestyle. Read what I was curious about and how the sweet Adele responded:

1 – When are you really productive? Are you a night owl or a morning bird?


I wish I was a morning bird. And I really try to be one because I quite enjoy the feeling of getting things done before noon and then, still have the whole day ahead of me. Truth is, however, I'm more productive in the evening/night time. I find that, even though I get up early, I'm unable to focus and get really productive before 11.00 am.


2 – What made you start your ethical, conscious lifestyle? Tell me about your journey.


I come from a home where reusing, repairing and recycling has always been important. As a kid, I was rather embarrassed that we hardly ever had new stuff and that we went camping in France instead of taking the plane and going on fancy holidays in Fuerteventura. Especially during the last years, after uni and finally with a job, I spent a lot of time "making up" for what I was missing in my childhood/adolescence: buying all the clothes and shoes, shopping at Ikea (my parents only owned second hand furniture *lol*), getting Starbucks To-Go coffees. But it always felt a bit off. I wasn't raised that way and I didn't really believe in that lifestyle. At the same time, I started to get more and more interested in organic food, sustainable agriculture and from there, it was really a small step to spark my interest in sustainable living, in general. And to be even more specific: roughly 3 months ago, when I started watching Alli Cherry's videos on YouTube, I finally decided to make a change: to stop buying fast fashion, to reduce my waste, to avoid plastic, etc. And here I am now, using handkerchiefs instead of paper tissues. Just like I did when I was 7 years old. Only that I'm not embarrassed of it, any more. :)


3 – What are the easiest ways to start living ethically?


I find the easiest way is to decide on one thing you want to start (or stop) doing and stick to it. Like, not buying anything packaged in plastic. Or only buying second hand. Only buying your produce at the farmer's market. Just one thing, but stick to it. From there, you can still expand and incorporate more ideas of ethical living into your life.

4 – What kind of book is most likely to be re-read by you?


"Rayuela" by Julio Cortázar. I read this book 10 years ago and it had such a huge impact on me. It is about a group o bohemian Argentineans living in Paris, philosophizing about human relations and life, in general. I read it at a time where I was very susceptible to anything that talked about big topics like the meaning of life. I wonder if I still felt that deeply about it if I was to re-read it now. A book can mean a lot to you or nothing at all, depending on the time in life you read it.


5 – Who or what inspired you the most in your blogging experience?


I think I'll go with Alli Cherry again. I stumbled upon her YouTube channel totally by coincidence. She's doesn't advertise herself as a sustainable lifestyle/zero waste/green blogger. She just shares her life trying her best to live ethically. I guess it just spoke to me that you could try and live sustainably without having to label yourself as an "ethical blogger". After all, living ethically should be the norm and not part of a trendy lifestyle.

6 – What do you do to kick off a great morning?


I need a cup of tea first thing in the morning. English Breakfast tea with milk and honey is my fave.


Hope you enjoy this series and reading about Adele! I'm sure you'd love her blog so if you haven't already, her blog definitely is worth checking out.

Until then – stay groovy,
Arden

Tea With Adele – A Q&A with NAEMORA

2/22/2017



This time in the Tea With ... series, I'm introducing to you Adele, a 20 year old German power girl living in Mallorca. Her blog naemora.com focuses on Adele's journey towards a sustainable lifestyle (which means minimalism, living with zero waste, slow fashion and green beauty products) and female empowerment and feminism on all kinds of levels. I admire her ethics and personally love following her on her journey towards a sustainable lifestyle so I can copy and adapt to bits and bobs and make it my own lifestyle. Read what I was curious about and how the sweet Adele responded:

1 – When are you really productive? Are you a night owl or a morning bird?


I wish I was a morning bird. And I really try to be one because I quite enjoy the feeling of getting things done before noon and then, still have the whole day ahead of me. Truth is, however, I'm more productive in the evening/night time. I find that, even though I get up early, I'm unable to focus and get really productive before 11.00 am.


2 – What made you start your ethical, conscious lifestyle? Tell me about your journey.


I come from a home where reusing, repairing and recycling has always been important. As a kid, I was rather embarrassed that we hardly ever had new stuff and that we went camping in France instead of taking the plane and going on fancy holidays in Fuerteventura. Especially during the last years, after uni and finally with a job, I spent a lot of time "making up" for what I was missing in my childhood/adolescence: buying all the clothes and shoes, shopping at Ikea (my parents only owned second hand furniture *lol*), getting Starbucks To-Go coffees. But it always felt a bit off. I wasn't raised that way and I didn't really believe in that lifestyle. At the same time, I started to get more and more interested in organic food, sustainable agriculture and from there, it was really a small step to spark my interest in sustainable living, in general. And to be even more specific: roughly 3 months ago, when I started watching Alli Cherry's videos on YouTube, I finally decided to make a change: to stop buying fast fashion, to reduce my waste, to avoid plastic, etc. And here I am now, using handkerchiefs instead of paper tissues. Just like I did when I was 7 years old. Only that I'm not embarrassed of it, any more. :)


3 – What are the easiest ways to start living ethically?


I find the easiest way is to decide on one thing you want to start (or stop) doing and stick to it. Like, not buying anything packaged in plastic. Or only buying second hand. Only buying your produce at the farmer's market. Just one thing, but stick to it. From there, you can still expand and incorporate more ideas of ethical living into your life.

4 – What kind of book is most likely to be re-read by you?


"Rayuela" by Julio Cortázar. I read this book 10 years ago and it had such a huge impact on me. It is about a group o bohemian Argentineans living in Paris, philosophizing about human relations and life, in general. I read it at a time where I was very susceptible to anything that talked about big topics like the meaning of life. I wonder if I still felt that deeply about it if I was to re-read it now. A book can mean a lot to you or nothing at all, depending on the time in life you read it.


5 – Who or what inspired you the most in your blogging experience?


I think I'll go with Alli Cherry again. I stumbled upon her YouTube channel totally by coincidence. She's doesn't advertise herself as a sustainable lifestyle/zero waste/green blogger. She just shares her life trying her best to live ethically. I guess it just spoke to me that you could try and live sustainably without having to label yourself as an "ethical blogger". After all, living ethically should be the norm and not part of a trendy lifestyle.

6 – What do you do to kick off a great morning?


I need a cup of tea first thing in the morning. English Breakfast tea with milk and honey is my fave.


Hope you enjoy this series and reading about Adele! I'm sure you'd love her blog so if you haven't already, her blog definitely is worth checking out.

Until then – stay groovy,
Arden

It's coming near, isn't it! My flight to London is only a few days away and I couldn't be more hyped and conflicted at the same time. This is how I prepared for the big change.

Organisationally


Of course I had to plan everything from scratch –

  • when I'd leave for my flight, 
  • what I need for it, 
  • whether I need to take the train to the airport. 
  • I had to take care of my insurance abroad,
  • I signed up for the ERASMUS scholarship grant to get financial support for my internship in advance,
  • I cancelled contracts with my landlord here in Dresden, 
  • quit my part-time job for the time being,
  • emptied my flat to give it away.
  • I booked my first week in London at a hostel and 
  • called up landlords in advance to plan appointments for my room hunt. 

I wrote lists for packing and tasks to do before leaving and for when I'd get there.

Packing


Thinking of the weather in London, I thought of every possible outfit that I could wear. I need more appropriate, smart but casual clothes for my internship. And of course I can't forget my daily wear. Before even thinking of packing, I decluttered most of my wardrobe and sold or donated clothes I wouldn't need or wear anyway. Downgrading helped a lot and now I have a much better overview.
Of course I had to take care of my birth control and medication, too. Gathering what I would definitely need over there helped me realize how much junk I actually own that I could've gotten rid of a long time ago. So much clutter.

Emotionally


You can't really prepare emotionally. All I know is that I will surely feel homesick and it will be awful the first couple of days or weeks. But I also know that I just have to keep myself busy and make friends to meet. Currently I'm spending a lot of time with my family and I met up with old close friends and uni friends that I would miss the next six months. If I look at the number, 6, it looks like 6 months will take incredibly long. But to think about it that way: I'm leaving in the beginning of spring and coming back in Summer! helps a lot.

I think it's important to stay in touch with my family and friends and don't allow myself to feel lonely. I can be fine being on my own but once I feel lonely – and yes, there actually is a difference – I will step into a downward spiral that will be hard to get out of. I am preparing for homesickness – but on the other hand I have so much excitement building up.


P/S: All my posts on London for the next 6 months will be tagged under 6 In London so if you're looking for them, you'll know where to find them! Do make sure you follow me on my Instagram, too, not to miss any Instagram stories (I figure there will be a bunch)!

Until then – stay cosy,
Arden

Preparing my move to London

2/20/2017


It's coming near, isn't it! My flight to London is only a few days away and I couldn't be more hyped and conflicted at the same time. This is how I prepared for the big change.

Organisationally


Of course I had to plan everything from scratch –

  • when I'd leave for my flight, 
  • what I need for it, 
  • whether I need to take the train to the airport. 
  • I had to take care of my insurance abroad,
  • I signed up for the ERASMUS scholarship grant to get financial support for my internship in advance,
  • I cancelled contracts with my landlord here in Dresden, 
  • quit my part-time job for the time being,
  • emptied my flat to give it away.
  • I booked my first week in London at a hostel and 
  • called up landlords in advance to plan appointments for my room hunt. 

I wrote lists for packing and tasks to do before leaving and for when I'd get there.

Packing


Thinking of the weather in London, I thought of every possible outfit that I could wear. I need more appropriate, smart but casual clothes for my internship. And of course I can't forget my daily wear. Before even thinking of packing, I decluttered most of my wardrobe and sold or donated clothes I wouldn't need or wear anyway. Downgrading helped a lot and now I have a much better overview.
Of course I had to take care of my birth control and medication, too. Gathering what I would definitely need over there helped me realize how much junk I actually own that I could've gotten rid of a long time ago. So much clutter.

Emotionally


You can't really prepare emotionally. All I know is that I will surely feel homesick and it will be awful the first couple of days or weeks. But I also know that I just have to keep myself busy and make friends to meet. Currently I'm spending a lot of time with my family and I met up with old close friends and uni friends that I would miss the next six months. If I look at the number, 6, it looks like 6 months will take incredibly long. But to think about it that way: I'm leaving in the beginning of spring and coming back in Summer! helps a lot.

I think it's important to stay in touch with my family and friends and don't allow myself to feel lonely. I can be fine being on my own but once I feel lonely – and yes, there actually is a difference – I will step into a downward spiral that will be hard to get out of. I am preparing for homesickness – but on the other hand I have so much excitement building up.


P/S: All my posts on London for the next 6 months will be tagged under 6 In London so if you're looking for them, you'll know where to find them! Do make sure you follow me on my Instagram, too, not to miss any Instagram stories (I figure there will be a bunch)!

Until then – stay cosy,
Arden

I don't think I've ever written a whole post on organising even though I love doing it. I could talk hours about staying organised. I am just so forgetful that I need order in my life when I can have it, otherwise I'd be a bit of a mess.

Everyone has their own system of being organized so what I'll share with you is solely based on how I do it because it's a system that I found that works for me. So it might not work for you! But maybe I'll be able to spark some inspiration for some.

Whilst downgrading and cutting back on material to minimise baggage for my move, I've decided to ditch paper planners. Long story short, I've found something that works for me perfectly fine and it saves paper and space in my bag, too.

Planning every day


I use the good old iCalendar for the Mac and iPhone. No special, fancy app. Yup, I'm going basic! After watching Lucy and Hannah's organisation video, I stole Hannah's idea and decided to put everything on my iCalendar which is accessible on my laptop and my phone so that's definitely coming in handy every day. And with everything I mean everything – events, blog posts, story updates and tasks!

Crazy you think? Probably, yes. But I needed something to put everything in one place and I feel this way is working pretty well so far that I've decided to stick with it. How you ask? Here's a quick run-down. I thought I would give you a simulation of my actual calendar and screenshot my method.


This is the monthly view I have on my laptop. My calendar is colour-coded because I've always colour-coded events, etc. Tasks are blue, events and appointments are yellow, national holidays green and blog posts and story updates are orange.

As you can see in my weekly view, I put all the tasks for the days as "all-day" events so they stay at the top and I can just erase them one by one. Ticking them away with a strike-away effect would be great but you can't have everything so I just erase the tasks when they're done or move them to the next day.

Blog posts and story updates are put as an all-day event as well so I have an easy overview of what is still to write, to schedule, to post.

The rest, events and appointments, are just down below with their time stamps. That can be exams, work shifts, doctor's appointments. Since I don't have too much going on at the moment other than uni and my part-time job, I am keeping my work shifts yellow, too. If it gets busier in the future I'll probably colour-code it differently.

And here's the daily view. Tasks and updates / posts are at the top, making it easy for a quick overview of the day. I keep my reminders for events and appointments on. The thing is I put so much for tasks. That could be the smallest things like, call the doctor or get laundry done. I am so forgetful and as an anxious person it helps me to write everything down as tasks. So that's why sometimes my task bar is incredibly long but a girl's got to do what she's got to do when she's stressed and forgetful.

In-depth planning


Of course I can't put every detail in my iCalendar. I need space. I need massive space for ideas and to-do's for my stories and blog posts and everything else. I recently started actively, regularly using Trello. You might have heard from this pretty tool already, and if not, this is what it is:

Trello is accessible via Web, as an app for laptops and phones, Apple and Android. It's an organisation tool reminding of a pin-board. Basically you create boards, where you add lists and then add as many cards as you'd like. They can be annotated, you can add to-do's, mark a scheduled time, etc. You can freely move items and cards around. Here's how I use it:


This is my board for my works/stories, one of many boards that I currently have. I've got the cards for ideas for stories, completed works, the ones I'm working on for publishing, the ones I have on hold at the moment and the board goes on and on with all of my stories solely.


To each card you can add tasks. This is from my university board and this is my card for Tourism Management, a subject I had to study for. I added tasks for the card, steps to take and things to take care of for studying (because I tend to procrastinate more when I think of a task of a whole. So instead of saying "Study Tourism Management today" I'll divide small tasks so it doesn't sound like it's too much to do). I can tick tasks off and add comments if I think of anything extra.


Each board and card can be shared with others to participate. So if you're working with a partner or a group, this is a great way of organising everything as everyone can add comments, etc. Trello works together with the app Slack for teams, so there you go.

So many E-Mails


For E-Mails I simply use the normal, basic iOS Mail app on my phone and on my laptop. It's simple and I like to keep it simple. I added all e-mail accounts and have several (many) folders for each account so I can move all incoming e-mails to specific folders for organisation purposes. I flag important ones and mark ones as unread so I won't forget to reply to the ones that need a response as soon as possible. (I will have the urge to check unread e-mails to get rid of the badge counts so that will help me remember to go through said e-mails).

Setting up signatures helps tremendously if you don't have the time to put up with writing it out over and over.


Tracking expenses & keeping my budget


Spendee is still my all-time favourite. The American version is called Mint, I think. That app isn't accessible here in Germany for some reason so I'm sticking with Spendee. I actually upgraded the app (it's perfectly fine used in the free version) because I don't only have my daily expenses to keep track of but also the money I owe friends or what friends owe me and budgets for trips, etc.

It's such a pretty app that I look forward to using every day. You can even add receipts as pictures which is great for me. Every evening I sit down to go through my expenses of the day. More on the app itself and how I sort out my finances here!


Daily logs & Journal writing



Some of you might know since I started therapy I learned to keep track of daily mood logs every day. I couldn't bother with my notes app or my calendar so I downloaded the Day One app for my laptop and phone. It's a diary/journal app where you can add as many journals as you'd like. Not that I need multiple journals, my life isn't that exciting. But I have one that is for my daily logs, one for my thoughts and what I usually jot down in my journal when feeling anxious or when I'm reminiscing, and one for goals and personal plans, e.g. what I want to do while I'm in London, what I want to get done, To-Go's and so on. It's safe with a password and I can access it anywhere. You can add photos from your camera roll and even connect with your Twitter and Instagram where it'll include your tweets and pictures. You can put a location, too.

Source

Look, I know what some of you are thinking. Before this I would've shaken my head at myself, too, why being so digital and why don't I just keep writing per hand? Isn't that more "intimate"? More personal? But the thing is,

  • I don't like to waste fancy paper anymore. 
  • And I want to be able to re-read my entries at any time and I've got like three filled journals back home that I can't just grab and read. This way I can even search up key words and find entries from the past with the speed of a button. (Now I've taken pictures of all content of my old diaries too and put their date on the app.)
  • I can't even bring a paper journal with me all the time. I don't always have a pen or space to write. 
  • And most of the times I have so much on my mind that I can't even write all of it down, not because it would've turned into a novel but because my hand would hurt so freaking much. 
All these reasons lead to me deciding to get that app and journal this way.


Keeping track of girly needs


Oh, periods. What can I say, I don't like being surprised by my natural body procedures. That's why I like to keep track of my period with Clue. This is a cute app many women already know. I even know boyfriends that downloaded the app to keep track for their girlfriends! I know, crazy. And cute.

I use this app to track many more things than just my red days, though. You can log how much your bleeding was on a day, how bad the pain was, how you were feeling emotionally, how much sleep you got, whether you had sex that day or not, how energetic you felt, what you craved throughout the day, how your skin has been and how much you weight.

Source

As you can see this apps knows to do a lot of things so it can be a great "body" tracker next to the Health app as well. You can even set reminders for your pill, for when your next cycle is about to begin, when you're estimated to ovulate. Quite handy if you ask me.

Feels like this was quite a lot! Tell me below what you use and how to stay organised. Thoughts on digital vs. handwritten journaling? Any questions on how I organise are welcome as well.

Until then – stay groovy,
Arden

How I Organise Absolutely Everything (Detailed)

2/17/2017


I don't think I've ever written a whole post on organising even though I love doing it. I could talk hours about staying organised. I am just so forgetful that I need order in my life when I can have it, otherwise I'd be a bit of a mess.

Everyone has their own system of being organized so what I'll share with you is solely based on how I do it because it's a system that I found that works for me. So it might not work for you! But maybe I'll be able to spark some inspiration for some.

Whilst downgrading and cutting back on material to minimise baggage for my move, I've decided to ditch paper planners. Long story short, I've found something that works for me perfectly fine and it saves paper and space in my bag, too.

Planning every day


I use the good old iCalendar for the Mac and iPhone. No special, fancy app. Yup, I'm going basic! After watching Lucy and Hannah's organisation video, I stole Hannah's idea and decided to put everything on my iCalendar which is accessible on my laptop and my phone so that's definitely coming in handy every day. And with everything I mean everything – events, blog posts, story updates and tasks!

Crazy you think? Probably, yes. But I needed something to put everything in one place and I feel this way is working pretty well so far that I've decided to stick with it. How you ask? Here's a quick run-down. I thought I would give you a simulation of my actual calendar and screenshot my method.


This is the monthly view I have on my laptop. My calendar is colour-coded because I've always colour-coded events, etc. Tasks are blue, events and appointments are yellow, national holidays green and blog posts and story updates are orange.

As you can see in my weekly view, I put all the tasks for the days as "all-day" events so they stay at the top and I can just erase them one by one. Ticking them away with a strike-away effect would be great but you can't have everything so I just erase the tasks when they're done or move them to the next day.

Blog posts and story updates are put as an all-day event as well so I have an easy overview of what is still to write, to schedule, to post.

The rest, events and appointments, are just down below with their time stamps. That can be exams, work shifts, doctor's appointments. Since I don't have too much going on at the moment other than uni and my part-time job, I am keeping my work shifts yellow, too. If it gets busier in the future I'll probably colour-code it differently.

And here's the daily view. Tasks and updates / posts are at the top, making it easy for a quick overview of the day. I keep my reminders for events and appointments on. The thing is I put so much for tasks. That could be the smallest things like, call the doctor or get laundry done. I am so forgetful and as an anxious person it helps me to write everything down as tasks. So that's why sometimes my task bar is incredibly long but a girl's got to do what she's got to do when she's stressed and forgetful.

In-depth planning


Of course I can't put every detail in my iCalendar. I need space. I need massive space for ideas and to-do's for my stories and blog posts and everything else. I recently started actively, regularly using Trello. You might have heard from this pretty tool already, and if not, this is what it is:

Trello is accessible via Web, as an app for laptops and phones, Apple and Android. It's an organisation tool reminding of a pin-board. Basically you create boards, where you add lists and then add as many cards as you'd like. They can be annotated, you can add to-do's, mark a scheduled time, etc. You can freely move items and cards around. Here's how I use it:


This is my board for my works/stories, one of many boards that I currently have. I've got the cards for ideas for stories, completed works, the ones I'm working on for publishing, the ones I have on hold at the moment and the board goes on and on with all of my stories solely.


To each card you can add tasks. This is from my university board and this is my card for Tourism Management, a subject I had to study for. I added tasks for the card, steps to take and things to take care of for studying (because I tend to procrastinate more when I think of a task of a whole. So instead of saying "Study Tourism Management today" I'll divide small tasks so it doesn't sound like it's too much to do). I can tick tasks off and add comments if I think of anything extra.


Each board and card can be shared with others to participate. So if you're working with a partner or a group, this is a great way of organising everything as everyone can add comments, etc. Trello works together with the app Slack for teams, so there you go.

So many E-Mails


For E-Mails I simply use the normal, basic iOS Mail app on my phone and on my laptop. It's simple and I like to keep it simple. I added all e-mail accounts and have several (many) folders for each account so I can move all incoming e-mails to specific folders for organisation purposes. I flag important ones and mark ones as unread so I won't forget to reply to the ones that need a response as soon as possible. (I will have the urge to check unread e-mails to get rid of the badge counts so that will help me remember to go through said e-mails).

Setting up signatures helps tremendously if you don't have the time to put up with writing it out over and over.


Tracking expenses & keeping my budget


Spendee is still my all-time favourite. The American version is called Mint, I think. That app isn't accessible here in Germany for some reason so I'm sticking with Spendee. I actually upgraded the app (it's perfectly fine used in the free version) because I don't only have my daily expenses to keep track of but also the money I owe friends or what friends owe me and budgets for trips, etc.

It's such a pretty app that I look forward to using every day. You can even add receipts as pictures which is great for me. Every evening I sit down to go through my expenses of the day. More on the app itself and how I sort out my finances here!


Daily logs & Journal writing



Some of you might know since I started therapy I learned to keep track of daily mood logs every day. I couldn't bother with my notes app or my calendar so I downloaded the Day One app for my laptop and phone. It's a diary/journal app where you can add as many journals as you'd like. Not that I need multiple journals, my life isn't that exciting. But I have one that is for my daily logs, one for my thoughts and what I usually jot down in my journal when feeling anxious or when I'm reminiscing, and one for goals and personal plans, e.g. what I want to do while I'm in London, what I want to get done, To-Go's and so on. It's safe with a password and I can access it anywhere. You can add photos from your camera roll and even connect with your Twitter and Instagram where it'll include your tweets and pictures. You can put a location, too.

Source

Look, I know what some of you are thinking. Before this I would've shaken my head at myself, too, why being so digital and why don't I just keep writing per hand? Isn't that more "intimate"? More personal? But the thing is,

  • I don't like to waste fancy paper anymore. 
  • And I want to be able to re-read my entries at any time and I've got like three filled journals back home that I can't just grab and read. This way I can even search up key words and find entries from the past with the speed of a button. (Now I've taken pictures of all content of my old diaries too and put their date on the app.)
  • I can't even bring a paper journal with me all the time. I don't always have a pen or space to write. 
  • And most of the times I have so much on my mind that I can't even write all of it down, not because it would've turned into a novel but because my hand would hurt so freaking much. 
All these reasons lead to me deciding to get that app and journal this way.


Keeping track of girly needs


Oh, periods. What can I say, I don't like being surprised by my natural body procedures. That's why I like to keep track of my period with Clue. This is a cute app many women already know. I even know boyfriends that downloaded the app to keep track for their girlfriends! I know, crazy. And cute.

I use this app to track many more things than just my red days, though. You can log how much your bleeding was on a day, how bad the pain was, how you were feeling emotionally, how much sleep you got, whether you had sex that day or not, how energetic you felt, what you craved throughout the day, how your skin has been and how much you weight.

Source

As you can see this apps knows to do a lot of things so it can be a great "body" tracker next to the Health app as well. You can even set reminders for your pill, for when your next cycle is about to begin, when you're estimated to ovulate. Quite handy if you ask me.

Feels like this was quite a lot! Tell me below what you use and how to stay organised. Thoughts on digital vs. handwritten journaling? Any questions on how I organise are welcome as well.

Until then – stay groovy,
Arden

We all know the climate in this world is changing and it's always been a big issue hanging in the air, loose and transparent, not really there to grasp it but big enough to not be ignored. You've heard about it a long time ago and it keeps being a topic because well, it is. A huge topic. And extremely dangerous and it's JUST. NOT. STOPPING.

I was thinking a lot about climate change and how we, as individuals, can do to help. Climate change is usually underrated as a problem because it isn't that apparent in e.g. Germany. We did have high water levels but that was it. No hurricanes or big disasters so far. Yeah, so far. Also, people have gotten used to natural disasters and contaminated air.

Here are a few things you can do as an individual to help making the first step.

Reduce energy use.


Replace standard light bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. And make it a habit to turn out the lights whenever you leave a room, even if it's the washing room in your uni. Unplug your computers, TVs and other electronics when they're not in use.

Use cloth bags to go grocery shopping.


I've gotten this great cloth bag from REWE, a German supermarket and I've used it ever since. It's light enough to pack in your daily bag and pull out when you go grocery shopping, pretty enough to carry around and it's steady enough to keep everything inside. No need for plastic bags of any kind.


Change transportation.


Maybe try and get by with trams or bikes instead of cars sometimes. Reduce that carbon footprint and save money on gas as well. Walking will do your health good, too. This is a reason why I haven't gotten a car yet, also because I don't feel like I need one just yet. And to be honest, I don't think I will be needing it much in the near future, either.

You don't need that plastic lid for your coffee to go.


I know it's kinda practical to have the lid on but do you actually need it? Your tea or coffee will cool down quicker, too. Maybe go for your own insulating bottle for your coffee.

Cool wash!


Hang to dry your clothes since dryers are energy hogs, maybe even handwash smaller pieces of clothing.

Eat wisely.


Avoid processed items and go for locally grown foods and organic foods. Going vegetarian of course is an option since 18% of greenhouse gas emissions come from the dairy and meat production. You don't have to go vegetarian or vegan completely, only ditching meat for one meal a day is a step.

Recycle.


It's easier than it sounds, really. You just have to start. Recycle and purchase things you can repurpose multiple times.


More about what you can do about climate change here. Feel free to treat the comment section as a forum, I'd love to hear more suggestions on how to help out in this matter.

Until then – stay conscious,
Arden

What can WE do to help our climate?

2/15/2017


We all know the climate in this world is changing and it's always been a big issue hanging in the air, loose and transparent, not really there to grasp it but big enough to not be ignored. You've heard about it a long time ago and it keeps being a topic because well, it is. A huge topic. And extremely dangerous and it's JUST. NOT. STOPPING.

I was thinking a lot about climate change and how we, as individuals, can do to help. Climate change is usually underrated as a problem because it isn't that apparent in e.g. Germany. We did have high water levels but that was it. No hurricanes or big disasters so far. Yeah, so far. Also, people have gotten used to natural disasters and contaminated air.

Here are a few things you can do as an individual to help making the first step.

Reduce energy use.


Replace standard light bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. And make it a habit to turn out the lights whenever you leave a room, even if it's the washing room in your uni. Unplug your computers, TVs and other electronics when they're not in use.

Use cloth bags to go grocery shopping.


I've gotten this great cloth bag from REWE, a German supermarket and I've used it ever since. It's light enough to pack in your daily bag and pull out when you go grocery shopping, pretty enough to carry around and it's steady enough to keep everything inside. No need for plastic bags of any kind.


Change transportation.


Maybe try and get by with trams or bikes instead of cars sometimes. Reduce that carbon footprint and save money on gas as well. Walking will do your health good, too. This is a reason why I haven't gotten a car yet, also because I don't feel like I need one just yet. And to be honest, I don't think I will be needing it much in the near future, either.

You don't need that plastic lid for your coffee to go.


I know it's kinda practical to have the lid on but do you actually need it? Your tea or coffee will cool down quicker, too. Maybe go for your own insulating bottle for your coffee.

Cool wash!


Hang to dry your clothes since dryers are energy hogs, maybe even handwash smaller pieces of clothing.

Eat wisely.


Avoid processed items and go for locally grown foods and organic foods. Going vegetarian of course is an option since 18% of greenhouse gas emissions come from the dairy and meat production. You don't have to go vegetarian or vegan completely, only ditching meat for one meal a day is a step.

Recycle.


It's easier than it sounds, really. You just have to start. Recycle and purchase things you can repurpose multiple times.


More about what you can do about climate change here. Feel free to treat the comment section as a forum, I'd love to hear more suggestions on how to help out in this matter.

Until then – stay conscious,
Arden

So, this is embarrassing. And kind of terrifying to me. I don't know if I'm the only one but I hope I'm not because I feel like I'm the only one shitbat crazy. I don't know when it started honestly but I know I'm at fault for causing my own paranoia. Don't laugh at me but I honestly think my paranoia was triggered by watching shows like, for example, Criminal Minds. Anyone who knows the series or a similar one, you know the show and similar shows are about murderers, their victims and pretty intense plot twists.

Let me elaborate on how paranoid I actually am.

  • I need to close my doors properly, always. House doors preferably with the keys even though I'm alone. I think someone could break in whilst I'm sleeping. 
  • I keep a knife underneath my pillow. Stay away, creeps. Bitch is gonna get cuuuut. 
  • Sometimes I keep the little light on to be able to sleep.
  • Walking home at night is a nightmare. I get anxious and keep looking around and behind me to make sure nobody suddenly bursts out of their vans and snatches me away. Sometimes I'm startled by my own foot steps. 
  • I get anxious walking home or somewhere else when drunk obnoxious men are following me and talking loudly at me. Immediately I think I could get raped. 
  • My mum's door to the living room where I sleep on the couch is semi-transparent and at night, without lenses or glasses on, I sometimes think I see something behind it and get freaked out until I shine my light on it and am reassured there's nothing. 
  • On the streets sometimes I'm afraid someone will steal from me even though it's unlikely. (Someone snatching my phone out of my hand, etc.)

Thing is, I know it's all irrational. It's stupid. Why would anyone barge into Mum's home when we live in a flat in a building with 10 floors? Why would someone try to barge into my student apartment at night when I'm sleeping? Why would anyone hide in the bushes to wait for me and get me? Why would someone wait in that white huge van in the parking lot to kidnap young women? 

But I can't help it. It's irrational but it kickstarts my anxiety so much. I said, "I should stop watching those shows. They're interesting and grab me but dude, they make me paranoid as hell. This isn't good." But do I stop? No, absolutely not. It's such a good show, so why would I? I'm deeply interested in crimonology and serial killers' thoughts and back stories. So it would be pretty hard to keep myself away from such shows and documentaries. So I either stop watching or accept I'm a pussy. 

Honestly my interest in such kind of topics are the only cause I can think of that triggers my paranoia like that. Oh, and news about serial killers not being caught yet. And this is a conflict I wish I could solve so I can enjoy researching on what I'm interested in (now I must sound like a freaking psychopathic woman, I am sorry, I swear I am not) whilst not being so damn paranoid. 

There are days where I'm fine and I go home without looking around for once (okay maybe once, but not twice). But this is something I got conscious about so I decided to write about it. 

Guys, can you relate?

Until then – stay cautious,
Arden

I'm Paranoid

2/13/2017


So, this is embarrassing. And kind of terrifying to me. I don't know if I'm the only one but I hope I'm not because I feel like I'm the only one shitbat crazy. I don't know when it started honestly but I know I'm at fault for causing my own paranoia. Don't laugh at me but I honestly think my paranoia was triggered by watching shows like, for example, Criminal Minds. Anyone who knows the series or a similar one, you know the show and similar shows are about murderers, their victims and pretty intense plot twists.

Let me elaborate on how paranoid I actually am.

  • I need to close my doors properly, always. House doors preferably with the keys even though I'm alone. I think someone could break in whilst I'm sleeping. 
  • I keep a knife underneath my pillow. Stay away, creeps. Bitch is gonna get cuuuut. 
  • Sometimes I keep the little light on to be able to sleep.
  • Walking home at night is a nightmare. I get anxious and keep looking around and behind me to make sure nobody suddenly bursts out of their vans and snatches me away. Sometimes I'm startled by my own foot steps. 
  • I get anxious walking home or somewhere else when drunk obnoxious men are following me and talking loudly at me. Immediately I think I could get raped. 
  • My mum's door to the living room where I sleep on the couch is semi-transparent and at night, without lenses or glasses on, I sometimes think I see something behind it and get freaked out until I shine my light on it and am reassured there's nothing. 
  • On the streets sometimes I'm afraid someone will steal from me even though it's unlikely. (Someone snatching my phone out of my hand, etc.)

Thing is, I know it's all irrational. It's stupid. Why would anyone barge into Mum's home when we live in a flat in a building with 10 floors? Why would someone try to barge into my student apartment at night when I'm sleeping? Why would anyone hide in the bushes to wait for me and get me? Why would someone wait in that white huge van in the parking lot to kidnap young women? 

But I can't help it. It's irrational but it kickstarts my anxiety so much. I said, "I should stop watching those shows. They're interesting and grab me but dude, they make me paranoid as hell. This isn't good." But do I stop? No, absolutely not. It's such a good show, so why would I? I'm deeply interested in crimonology and serial killers' thoughts and back stories. So it would be pretty hard to keep myself away from such shows and documentaries. So I either stop watching or accept I'm a pussy. 

Honestly my interest in such kind of topics are the only cause I can think of that triggers my paranoia like that. Oh, and news about serial killers not being caught yet. And this is a conflict I wish I could solve so I can enjoy researching on what I'm interested in (now I must sound like a freaking psychopathic woman, I am sorry, I swear I am not) whilst not being so damn paranoid. 

There are days where I'm fine and I go home without looking around for once (okay maybe once, but not twice). But this is something I got conscious about so I decided to write about it. 

Guys, can you relate?

Until then – stay cautious,
Arden

In the life

  • Exam week. No comment. (I'm doing quite well I think. Even though I had several mental breakdowns at therapy because of it. I'm fine. Really. The worst exam is over with.) 
  • Preparing for my move to London. IT IS HAPPENING. Someone pinch me. I'm so so excited and cannot wait. I've started removing my stuff from my flat and am now sorting everything out. The things I won't be bringing will have to stay with Mum. 
  • If you would like to follow my journey, either follow me on Instagram or check my portfolio for a bunch of new photos! 

Posts you might have missed


Music

  • This is the best Shape Of You Sing-Off by Conor Maynard and The Vamps. I cannot tell you how many times I've been listening to it. Simply because I lost count a long time ago.
  • Dodie's mashup is so beautiful. Nuff said. You guys already know I crush so hard on her music & her. 
  • And of course I had to include her Come Together cover with the amazing Jon Cozart. (You might know him from his After Ever After videos as PAINT.) Their harmony is no joke. 

Links


How has your week been? Hopefully all is fine. Stay warm! Spring is coming soon.

Until then – stay cosy,
Arden

FOTW | Sing Offs, Creativity & Preparations

2/12/2017


In the life

  • Exam week. No comment. (I'm doing quite well I think. Even though I had several mental breakdowns at therapy because of it. I'm fine. Really. The worst exam is over with.) 
  • Preparing for my move to London. IT IS HAPPENING. Someone pinch me. I'm so so excited and cannot wait. I've started removing my stuff from my flat and am now sorting everything out. The things I won't be bringing will have to stay with Mum. 
  • If you would like to follow my journey, either follow me on Instagram or check my portfolio for a bunch of new photos! 

Posts you might have missed


Music

  • This is the best Shape Of You Sing-Off by Conor Maynard and The Vamps. I cannot tell you how many times I've been listening to it. Simply because I lost count a long time ago.
  • Dodie's mashup is so beautiful. Nuff said. You guys already know I crush so hard on her music & her. 
  • And of course I had to include her Come Together cover with the amazing Jon Cozart. (You might know him from his After Ever After videos as PAINT.) Their harmony is no joke. 

Links


How has your week been? Hopefully all is fine. Stay warm! Spring is coming soon.

Until then – stay cosy,
Arden

In the midst of exam madness (which is also why I didn't post a FOTW last Sunday), I put together a study playlist of mainly instrumental pieces and thought that maybe, perhaps, you'd enjoy it as much as I do whilst preparing for your exams.


Good luck to everyone going through exams right now, I believe in you! Beat that bitch of procrastination and get work done. You'll be proud of yourself. 

Until then – stay productive,
Arden

Mixtape: Study On

2/11/2017


In the midst of exam madness (which is also why I didn't post a FOTW last Sunday), I put together a study playlist of mainly instrumental pieces and thought that maybe, perhaps, you'd enjoy it as much as I do whilst preparing for your exams.


Good luck to everyone going through exams right now, I believe in you! Beat that bitch of procrastination and get work done. You'll be proud of yourself. 

Until then – stay productive,
Arden

I sit in a coffee shop as I write this and just burned my tongue on my Latte. Beside me lies a bunch of papers that I just finished filling out. A multiple choice test on my personality. A Draw My Life in written and nerve-wrecking version. My head is somewhere in limbo, gaze fading away into the distance. It took a while to fill out these forms but I think it was worth it. I thought about myself on a deeper level for once. I got to know more about myself as I picked my choices and really thought about myself from a view from someone from the outside.

Strange. This is the word I use to describe how I feel right now. I don't know what is to come. All I know is that it cannot possibly be worse. If anything, I'll know. Something. Maybe not everything, not every solution. But pretty much more than I know right now.

My first impression of my therapist was that she wasn't cold, not warm either. She was very attentive and understanding. And she pointed some things out that made me startle because she was so correct. She put my feelings into words and I nodded, sometimes denied and explained some more. She nodded, understood, noted things down. I wonder what image of me she has in her mind. Probably helpless, but hopeful.

On my phone I type down numbers in a diary app. This is what I call the daily log. In the morning, at 10 A.M., at noon, at 3 P.M. and in the evening I write down numbers describing my mood. The range goes from –5 to +5 and every once in a while we will check the numbers and see what caused my down but also high moments. This is where I see what exactly makes me happy and comfortable and what drives me nuts. This is how I'll be able to try and get rid of (or at least avoid) the things that bring me down and write a list of things, situations and people that bring me up.

This is definitely improvement, I think. Yet I know it's only the beginning.

Going To Therapy Pt. III

2/09/2017


I sit in a coffee shop as I write this and just burned my tongue on my Latte. Beside me lies a bunch of papers that I just finished filling out. A multiple choice test on my personality. A Draw My Life in written and nerve-wrecking version. My head is somewhere in limbo, gaze fading away into the distance. It took a while to fill out these forms but I think it was worth it. I thought about myself on a deeper level for once. I got to know more about myself as I picked my choices and really thought about myself from a view from someone from the outside.

Strange. This is the word I use to describe how I feel right now. I don't know what is to come. All I know is that it cannot possibly be worse. If anything, I'll know. Something. Maybe not everything, not every solution. But pretty much more than I know right now.

My first impression of my therapist was that she wasn't cold, not warm either. She was very attentive and understanding. And she pointed some things out that made me startle because she was so correct. She put my feelings into words and I nodded, sometimes denied and explained some more. She nodded, understood, noted things down. I wonder what image of me she has in her mind. Probably helpless, but hopeful.

On my phone I type down numbers in a diary app. This is what I call the daily log. In the morning, at 10 A.M., at noon, at 3 P.M. and in the evening I write down numbers describing my mood. The range goes from –5 to +5 and every once in a while we will check the numbers and see what caused my down but also high moments. This is where I see what exactly makes me happy and comfortable and what drives me nuts. This is how I'll be able to try and get rid of (or at least avoid) the things that bring me down and write a list of things, situations and people that bring me up.

This is definitely improvement, I think. Yet I know it's only the beginning.

Make a study plan. 


Gather every material you have, sort it and make a schedule for yourself when and how much to study each session. During exam preparation, I study 8 Pomodrone sessions that are each 30 minutes long (short and long pauses excluded) per day and plan what exactly in which session I'll take on.

Pick your study environment. 


For some it's a local coffee shop with mellow background noise, for others it's the dead quiet library or the kitchen table or the desk area. Try studying in different places if you don't know what works best. If you're a morning bird and concentrate better in the morning, try to maximize your morning study time. Try not to spend all day in the same room.


Start early. 


I know, I know, this is not what you want to hear but I swear, I cannot stress about this one enough. You will thank yourself later. Sometimes I study best under pressure but honestly, I hate being stressed out because it makes me anxious for days and feeling really uncomfortable. So do yourself a favour and start early. Even if it's just some reading or retaking notes and making them pretty for you to study through.

Gather outside information. 


There are some subjects that are just super theoretical and no fun to study. Try gathering information from examples, from the Internet, etc. So you can read about the subject another way and learn about it from different perspectives, maybe even with the help of some practical examples. Maybe join study groups as well as the extra knowledge from others could help you tremendously, too.


Type/Write it all away. 


Everything. Type sentences and combine your knowledge, put it all together in sentences that you understand and can explain. This will help you know how to answer some questions without needing much time to actually put together sentences in your head when in an exam.

Ask yourself which questions your professor could ask. 


Of course this one is quite tricky. But if you know what your professor finds is most important about a topic, it helps to dive into it some more. Read more about the examples they mentioned, etc.


Don't compare yourself. 


Don't let others stress you about studying. There are people who study much more often and constantly. They'll stress about it and they'll make you feel like you're not doing enough. Keep in mind everyone studies differently and it's not just about getting A's but about actually understanding the subject.

Find your methods. 


Create outlines, draw mind maps, use flashcards, record yourself, rewrite your notes and take exams. Find the method that works for you. For me it's rewriting notes, highlighting and reading out loud to myself as if I'm giving a presentation. Oh, and sticky notes while reading chapters for notes on what's still unclear. I tend to research about those only after reading the whole chapters.

Remember to take breaks. 


Don't overwork yourself, get fresh air, get snacks, drink enough water, stretch.

Don't study the night before the exam. 


This will hinder your performance because if you study all night, your brain won't be able to tighten knowledge.


What is your advice on studying? Good luck to everyone who's going through exams right now!

Until then – stay productive,
Arden

How To Study Effectively For Exams

2/07/2017


Make a study plan. 


Gather every material you have, sort it and make a schedule for yourself when and how much to study each session. During exam preparation, I study 8 Pomodrone sessions that are each 30 minutes long (short and long pauses excluded) per day and plan what exactly in which session I'll take on.

Pick your study environment. 


For some it's a local coffee shop with mellow background noise, for others it's the dead quiet library or the kitchen table or the desk area. Try studying in different places if you don't know what works best. If you're a morning bird and concentrate better in the morning, try to maximize your morning study time. Try not to spend all day in the same room.


Start early. 


I know, I know, this is not what you want to hear but I swear, I cannot stress about this one enough. You will thank yourself later. Sometimes I study best under pressure but honestly, I hate being stressed out because it makes me anxious for days and feeling really uncomfortable. So do yourself a favour and start early. Even if it's just some reading or retaking notes and making them pretty for you to study through.

Gather outside information. 


There are some subjects that are just super theoretical and no fun to study. Try gathering information from examples, from the Internet, etc. So you can read about the subject another way and learn about it from different perspectives, maybe even with the help of some practical examples. Maybe join study groups as well as the extra knowledge from others could help you tremendously, too.


Type/Write it all away. 


Everything. Type sentences and combine your knowledge, put it all together in sentences that you understand and can explain. This will help you know how to answer some questions without needing much time to actually put together sentences in your head when in an exam.

Ask yourself which questions your professor could ask. 


Of course this one is quite tricky. But if you know what your professor finds is most important about a topic, it helps to dive into it some more. Read more about the examples they mentioned, etc.


Don't compare yourself. 


Don't let others stress you about studying. There are people who study much more often and constantly. They'll stress about it and they'll make you feel like you're not doing enough. Keep in mind everyone studies differently and it's not just about getting A's but about actually understanding the subject.

Find your methods. 


Create outlines, draw mind maps, use flashcards, record yourself, rewrite your notes and take exams. Find the method that works for you. For me it's rewriting notes, highlighting and reading out loud to myself as if I'm giving a presentation. Oh, and sticky notes while reading chapters for notes on what's still unclear. I tend to research about those only after reading the whole chapters.

Remember to take breaks. 


Don't overwork yourself, get fresh air, get snacks, drink enough water, stretch.

Don't study the night before the exam. 


This will hinder your performance because if you study all night, your brain won't be able to tighten knowledge.


What is your advice on studying? Good luck to everyone who's going through exams right now!

Until then – stay productive,
Arden

Based on Dolpo Tulku Rinpoche's "The little Buddhist Life Coach", this time I'm sharing something that I learned from the book about dealing with anger. I oftentimes struggle with this because I can have quite a big temper at times and lash out, which I never mean to do but keep catching myself doing it and then feeling bad about it afterwards. Maybe this will be helpful for some of you as well since the chapter in the book about anger really put things into perspective for me.

What is anger?


Anger is an agitated condition that won't allow inner peace. We get angry for a moment but once that feeling is over, we don't analyse it further. We could explore the reason for our anger and how it changes our mental condition. Answers to these questions will help you with insight in the long run on situations that mean trouble.

If we were to analyse anger, we would see that our pulse is increased just like when you go for a jog. The only difference is the disturbance in our spirit. This condition will make us perceive things in a faulty, subjective way and ignore the good things.

Consequences of anger


If we are angry and start acting aggressively, it's safe to say that our discussing partner will react the same way. This won't benefit your defense or problem-solving. You will want to win the debate and the conflict won't be settled unless one of you wins and the other one loses. Our awareness which determines our behaviour moves in the background. After we're done being angry, we'll feel ashamed and sorry and feel the need to apologize for lashing out.

Anger affects the relationship we have with others, especially that with our loved ones. We say things we don't mean and hurt people. Saying sorry isn't easy and won't make things undone. Everyone feels bad in the end.

The origin of anger


When we were younger we would get upset when we were cold or too warm or when we couldn't have the candy bar. Thing is, we didn't get upset because something was against our beliefs or opinions, we got upset without thinking about it because we felt simply uncomfortable. Psychologically it can be explained like this: When someone else is lucky, we feel jealous. If someone interfered with our luck, we'd feel upset too. This is the circle and the game of sorrow causative emotions.

The antidote to anger


Patience with painful experiences


This means to be able to accept difficult situations, not to add unnecessary sorrow to put yourself through. This is about inner strength. If we're too thin-skinned, we will see little things and make them into big ones. If we were to see things grimly habitually, it will be hard to find the positive in them. We will feel irritated in any difficult circumstance, we believe we have to change other people or groups to gain back our comfort. This attitude is like expecting and wanting to get mad again over and over again. So gain inner strength by gathering watchful information about yourself and how you handle situations, what sets you off on a regular basis.

Patients with people that harm us


There are always going to be people that won't, well, click with us. With anything you say or do they can put you in question or make your life hell. If we tried to defend ourselves by harming them, we'd act impulsively.

Finding your own happiness in the misfortune of others is impossible. If we feed our grudge, we'll produce more and more as time goes by. Usually in the moment, we'd think the people who want to pose problems to us find joy in doing it and are doing it intentionally. That's why we have to ask ourselves first, how's the situation actually? Did we really understand each other or were we talking in two different rooms? Did the other person really intent to harm me? That's what is called the analytic meditation. Putting everything into perspective before we break out in our emotions. Most of the times we'll realize that the other person didn't actually mean to upset us. Nobody really wants to harm their loved ones and partners. In certain circumstances we just act loveless and aggrieving.

What did you think about this post? Any thoughts are welcome below in the comments.

Until then – stay calm,
Arden

Dealing With Anger

2/03/2017


Based on Dolpo Tulku Rinpoche's "The little Buddhist Life Coach", this time I'm sharing something that I learned from the book about dealing with anger. I oftentimes struggle with this because I can have quite a big temper at times and lash out, which I never mean to do but keep catching myself doing it and then feeling bad about it afterwards. Maybe this will be helpful for some of you as well since the chapter in the book about anger really put things into perspective for me.

What is anger?


Anger is an agitated condition that won't allow inner peace. We get angry for a moment but once that feeling is over, we don't analyse it further. We could explore the reason for our anger and how it changes our mental condition. Answers to these questions will help you with insight in the long run on situations that mean trouble.

If we were to analyse anger, we would see that our pulse is increased just like when you go for a jog. The only difference is the disturbance in our spirit. This condition will make us perceive things in a faulty, subjective way and ignore the good things.

Consequences of anger


If we are angry and start acting aggressively, it's safe to say that our discussing partner will react the same way. This won't benefit your defense or problem-solving. You will want to win the debate and the conflict won't be settled unless one of you wins and the other one loses. Our awareness which determines our behaviour moves in the background. After we're done being angry, we'll feel ashamed and sorry and feel the need to apologize for lashing out.

Anger affects the relationship we have with others, especially that with our loved ones. We say things we don't mean and hurt people. Saying sorry isn't easy and won't make things undone. Everyone feels bad in the end.

The origin of anger


When we were younger we would get upset when we were cold or too warm or when we couldn't have the candy bar. Thing is, we didn't get upset because something was against our beliefs or opinions, we got upset without thinking about it because we felt simply uncomfortable. Psychologically it can be explained like this: When someone else is lucky, we feel jealous. If someone interfered with our luck, we'd feel upset too. This is the circle and the game of sorrow causative emotions.

The antidote to anger


Patience with painful experiences


This means to be able to accept difficult situations, not to add unnecessary sorrow to put yourself through. This is about inner strength. If we're too thin-skinned, we will see little things and make them into big ones. If we were to see things grimly habitually, it will be hard to find the positive in them. We will feel irritated in any difficult circumstance, we believe we have to change other people or groups to gain back our comfort. This attitude is like expecting and wanting to get mad again over and over again. So gain inner strength by gathering watchful information about yourself and how you handle situations, what sets you off on a regular basis.

Patients with people that harm us


There are always going to be people that won't, well, click with us. With anything you say or do they can put you in question or make your life hell. If we tried to defend ourselves by harming them, we'd act impulsively.

Finding your own happiness in the misfortune of others is impossible. If we feed our grudge, we'll produce more and more as time goes by. Usually in the moment, we'd think the people who want to pose problems to us find joy in doing it and are doing it intentionally. That's why we have to ask ourselves first, how's the situation actually? Did we really understand each other or were we talking in two different rooms? Did the other person really intent to harm me? That's what is called the analytic meditation. Putting everything into perspective before we break out in our emotions. Most of the times we'll realize that the other person didn't actually mean to upset us. Nobody really wants to harm their loved ones and partners. In certain circumstances we just act loveless and aggrieving.

What did you think about this post? Any thoughts are welcome below in the comments.

Until then – stay calm,
Arden

As you know, I work in customer service and I've worked in this field for as long as I can remember in my working experience. Most of the times I've been a waitress and sometimes I'm a check-in assistant at the airport so over the years I have gathered some thoughts that I really wish customers would know.
  • We do mind when you arrive in at closing time, actually. We'd appreciate it if we could clean up and go home. Our cook and the rest of the crew, too. 
  • We don't make the food. We can't do anything about how fast the food is going to be ready. 
  • The moment you ask us what we would recommend, we die on the inside. Admittedly, we probably don't know everything on the menu, nor have we tasted everything. Oh and taste differs so it's going to be on us if you won't like our recommendations that much.
  • Yes, carrying many plates at once is hard but no, you don't have to help us with that. *pats own shoulder*
  • If this isn't a five-star restaurant, then don't expect it to be or act like it is. 
  • Waiters are people, not slaves. We're servers, not servants. Don't look down on us as if we're idiots. Even if you think you're the shit because you're rich because honestly, we don't care much about that. We just serve, we won't kiss asses. 
  • If you're in a rush, please do tell us as soon as we greet you. That way we can arrange everything and avoid pressure.
  • We are not trying to get with your date or significant other. We're just polite as it is our job. We're probably so busy anyway that we won't even have the energy to try anything of that sort.
  • Please don't interrupt us while we're waiting another table.
  • We're multitaskers and always busy. So if we haven't checked on you in five minutes it's not because we were being lazy and forgetting about you.
  • Asking for extra will cost you extra, don't be upset with us when you see extra charge on the bill because that's just policy.
  • Only a percentage of your tip goes to each server. Think about that when you think about tipping your server full.  
  • I didn't invent the automatic check-in machine and no, it's not my fault that you can't go to the baggage drop without your boarding ticket. 

Have you ever worked in customer service and can you relate?

Until then – stay groovy,
Arden

Things Your Server Wishes You Knew

2/02/2017


As you know, I work in customer service and I've worked in this field for as long as I can remember in my working experience. Most of the times I've been a waitress and sometimes I'm a check-in assistant at the airport so over the years I have gathered some thoughts that I really wish customers would know.
  • We do mind when you arrive in at closing time, actually. We'd appreciate it if we could clean up and go home. Our cook and the rest of the crew, too. 
  • We don't make the food. We can't do anything about how fast the food is going to be ready. 
  • The moment you ask us what we would recommend, we die on the inside. Admittedly, we probably don't know everything on the menu, nor have we tasted everything. Oh and taste differs so it's going to be on us if you won't like our recommendations that much.
  • Yes, carrying many plates at once is hard but no, you don't have to help us with that. *pats own shoulder*
  • If this isn't a five-star restaurant, then don't expect it to be or act like it is. 
  • Waiters are people, not slaves. We're servers, not servants. Don't look down on us as if we're idiots. Even if you think you're the shit because you're rich because honestly, we don't care much about that. We just serve, we won't kiss asses. 
  • If you're in a rush, please do tell us as soon as we greet you. That way we can arrange everything and avoid pressure.
  • We are not trying to get with your date or significant other. We're just polite as it is our job. We're probably so busy anyway that we won't even have the energy to try anything of that sort.
  • Please don't interrupt us while we're waiting another table.
  • We're multitaskers and always busy. So if we haven't checked on you in five minutes it's not because we were being lazy and forgetting about you.
  • Asking for extra will cost you extra, don't be upset with us when you see extra charge on the bill because that's just policy.
  • Only a percentage of your tip goes to each server. Think about that when you think about tipping your server full.  
  • I didn't invent the automatic check-in machine and no, it's not my fault that you can't go to the baggage drop without your boarding ticket. 

Have you ever worked in customer service and can you relate?

Until then – stay groovy,
Arden
Starting the day right with mellow playlists

I'm that type of girl that stays home a lot and enjoys the company of no company. I boil my water and pour my tea and sit back on my couch or lay back on my bed and dive into the world of shows or books, stories of which I can only ever imagine in my head and live inside my fantasy.

A quiet background noise fading into my daily reality, diffusing in emotion and thoughts drowning in my absent mind. And I sit and I lay and I watch and I listen and sometimes I don't feel anything at all. A neutral phase where I can smile slightly and look at the ceiling of everything that is to come.

Getting some tea at my favourite café

And sometimes when I go out, I am okay with being on my own, too. There are couples and groups of friends gathering at the coffee shop and I sit by myself and smile to myself like an idiot, sipping on my cup of tea as it burns my tongue and the words I never dare to say. And another cup and another burned tongue that lasts for hours until I eventually have to meet up with someone and mutate into someone I'm not sure if it's myself.

My sister being shy

And in the end I sit and lay and watch and listen and smile to a blank page of futuristic vision because everything grows around me and even though I feel as if I'm stuck, I think I'm growing too. Evolving into something that has gained its wings in cozy environments, in a safe place, in a pot of opportunities and ridiculous self-discovery and potentials that I crumbled in my own hands.

Until then – don't mind me,
Arden

Photo Palette: Cozy

2/01/2017

Starting the day right with mellow playlists

I'm that type of girl that stays home a lot and enjoys the company of no company. I boil my water and pour my tea and sit back on my couch or lay back on my bed and dive into the world of shows or books, stories of which I can only ever imagine in my head and live inside my fantasy.

A quiet background noise fading into my daily reality, diffusing in emotion and thoughts drowning in my absent mind. And I sit and I lay and I watch and I listen and sometimes I don't feel anything at all. A neutral phase where I can smile slightly and look at the ceiling of everything that is to come.

Getting some tea at my favourite café

And sometimes when I go out, I am okay with being on my own, too. There are couples and groups of friends gathering at the coffee shop and I sit by myself and smile to myself like an idiot, sipping on my cup of tea as it burns my tongue and the words I never dare to say. And another cup and another burned tongue that lasts for hours until I eventually have to meet up with someone and mutate into someone I'm not sure if it's myself.

My sister being shy

And in the end I sit and lay and watch and listen and smile to a blank page of futuristic vision because everything grows around me and even though I feel as if I'm stuck, I think I'm growing too. Evolving into something that has gained its wings in cozy environments, in a safe place, in a pot of opportunities and ridiculous self-discovery and potentials that I crumbled in my own hands.

Until then – don't mind me,
Arden

My Journey In Pictures

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