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Inspiration, Tips

8 Things I do to clear my head and start creating again

Sometimes, (eg when you’re writing a blog post a day) you feel your creativity falter. You run out of ideas and before you know it, you’re stuck. I think everyone has their own methods to start creating again, but it can still me very inspiring to see what others do. So, here are 8 things I do to clear my head and start creating again.

Btw, I got inspired to write this post after reading about Hanne’s 10 self-care things she does when she feels miserable and can’t create anything.

8 Things I do to clear my head and start creating again

1. Tea. Heaps of tea.

Preferably black tea, with some sugar, or apple-cinnamon. Just by getting some liquid in me (I’ve a bad habit of drinking too little water) I can feel completely re-energized. Also making tea (boiling a kettle, putting loose tea in a holder, having it soak for a bit) takes enough time to unwind your brain a bit.

2. A long, hot bath.

Especially with a bubble bar or a bath bomb from Lush. The tub is my thinking space and I often get so energised and full of ideas I want to get out quickly again. But most of the time I just write things down (there is a notepad next to the bath at all times) and enjoy the soak.

8 Things I do to clear my head and start creating again

3. Put on some music.

At the moment, I listen to Disturbed when I really need to focus. Their quick metal songs bring me head banging back into ‘the zone’. When I have a little more time, I put on my “Random Dance Party” playlist and start shaking it. Fifteen minutes later you’re ready to rumble! Singing along also helps just clearing my mind.

4. Clean.

Whenever my studio space gets cluttered it means my head space is cluttered. Cleaning my physical space always is a good start to get the gears running again. I do have to be careful not to overdo it, because sometimes I use cleaning as an excuse not to start on something.

8 Things I do to clear my head and start creating again

5. Do a brain dump.

Sometimes I feel like my head gets clogged up with ideas I’m desperately hanging on. By writing everything down I create more space for new things or give myself the chance to actually work them out one by one instead of feeling overwhelmed.

6. Get some exercise.

Start a mini-dance party (see earlier), but also: run the stairs up and down a couple of times, go for a walk, do some yoga, do some high-intensity training. Just moving my body also makes my brain move again. I also have a couple of exercises I can do on my desk chair when I really don’t have time for a work-out. And if this costs too much time, a couple of good stretches also can do wonders.

8 Things I do to clear my head and start creating again

7. Go to a new place.

It’s not always possible, but sometimes I just need to get out of my trusty environment. Visiting a museum in a nearby city, going to the beach or to a forest are things that often help. And if those are not working, it means I need to go farther away from my comfort zone. It’s not always possible, but I think that looking for a country or a culture you haven’t met before and spending some time there might be the most rejuvenating thing you can do.

8. Sometimes nothing helps.

It’s ok; sometimes nothing helps. I try not tho fret when I get to this point. I’ll just make it an early night and pamper myself. Hot chocolate and blankets on the couch in winter (with some nicely scented candle) or spending time outside in the sun, with a book. Enjoying the weather and the sound of birds. Giving my brain some time off always helps to get back into the flow because there really are days you can’t force it.

(Alternatively, when I really need to finish something, I’ll just fake it. By going through the motions I’m used to, I can still create. It doesn’t work if you have to do this daily (it feels like you brain is walking through heavy mud), but pushing through once in a while, isn’t a bad thing)

8 Things I do to clear my head and start creating again

Even though I have all these back-ups for getting me back into my zone, there is only one thing that absolutely 100% makes my creativity peek: doing something I absolutely hate. Whenever I had to study for exams, I was constantly jotting down ideas because my head was overflowing with them. But it’s not really possible to recreate this setting, as it calls for a specific environment.

What do you do to kick-start your creativity again? Anything foolproof you’ve discovered to start creating again?

Blogging, Tips

Favourite apps for blogging & social media

One of the things I’m trying to do to be more efficient with my time is using my phone’s potential. I’m using it more and more to plan and schedule my social media posts and to edit my pictures. And I also use it to plan blogposts and schedule them. I thought it might be interesting to share my favourite apps for blogging & social media.

So I already mentioned Pocket and Evernote in the My Blogging Toolkit post. I love using both of these apps for both my blog and social media, but I’m not going to explain all about them again.

Photography apps

Taking and publishing pictures is probably what I do most with my phone, so this is also the biggest category of apps I’m going to talk about. Whether I want to publish photos I took with my phone or with my DSLR/point-and-shoot camera, for publishing on social media I adjust them on my phone. I can reach all the pictures I take with my DSLR via my OneDrive folders, shortly after adding them to my pc. I really like this set-up + it was completely affordable. After downloading my pictures to my phone, it’s time to edit and publish them.

  • Afterlight: When I want to edit a photo I mostly grab Afterlight to do the job. It’s not free (only €0,75 though), but it’s reallt easy to navigate and I can do the right amount of editing in this app. I start off by editing the dimensions of the picture and then move on to brightness, contrast, saturation and sharpening. Most of the time, that’s it. I seldom use filters on my pictures. The only other thing I use in Afterlight is the option to add borders on pictures. I started doing this for the Studio Maddy Instagram account because I like the amount of white space this gives me. I also just discovered it’s also available as desktop app on Windows!
  • Snapseed: Snapseed is a second photo editing app I use. It’s a free app with a lot of options for editing your pictures. I think it has way more options than Afterlight, which can make it feel overwhelming. It also has a bunch of nice pre-sets for different types of photography, which you all get free. I’ve also got apps like A Color Story, Photoshop Express and even Lightroom, but honestly, I barely use these.
  • Lightmeter: This is a simple app that helps me to find the settings of my DSLR when I’m shooting in manual mode. I don’t use it all the time, but when I have trouble figuring out what settings I should use, I whip my phone out and let the app help me on my way.

Planning / List Keeping

I really love planning and keeping lists, although, I must admit I sometimes overdo it. I often keep the same to do in different places and crossing it off in all the different places is a bit of a hassle. Even though I’ve been search furiously for this, I still haven’t found the perfect app that does it all for me. That’s why I’m switching between a couple (and my paper agenda) for planning. Even though these apps aren’t 100% perfect for me, I still really love using them.

  • Asana is an app for tracking and planning projects. I really love using Asana, although, I don’t use it often enough. It has a lot of options in the way you structure your to do’s and seems pretty fun to use in team. I use this for mainly for the blog, although I think I should get some social media planning in there too. Asana recently added an option to see your to do’s in different columns next to each other, so I made “ideas”, “drafts”, “text ok”, “pic ok”, “scheduled” and “published” columns which makes it easy to see which posts are in which stage. The only downside is the lack of a desktop app, which would actually make me use it more. Now you can either access it via your phone or in a web browser, both option that don’t always work well for me.
  • Wunderlist is a golden oldie to me. I’ve used this to do list app for many years and I love it! It has a lot of options: making folders for lists, having sublists for certain items, adding comments, starring items and even sharing lists, which is awesome for grocery shopping. I even have a list called “freezer” to keep track of what we have in storage. I use Wunderlist also to make my daily to do’s and then I add the posts I want to write. There’s nothing more awesome than here the *ching* when you cross something off the list.

Scheduling

With scheduling social media posts I have the same problem as with planning. I have two different apps I use, but none of these apps is perfect. I both like them, for different reasons and I can’t pick to which one I want to stick.

  • Buffer has an awesome blog about social media, which makes me feel a bit attached to this app. Buffer also is a very nice app to use. You can add one account per social media channel and in the free version you can schedule up to 10 posts at the same time per social media account. Which already is way more scheduling than I’m likely to do. You can also easily reschedule post you’ve published via Buffer before and it has an auto schedule that helps you pick the best time to post. Downside is that there is no visual example feed for Instagram, nor has it upload space for pictures.
  • Later does have the visual example feed for Instagram and you can upload you media to Later from anywhere and than use that media to schedule your posts. Later also only allows one social media account of each platform and has a limited number of posts per platform (varying from 30/month for FB, IG and Pinterest to 50/month for Twitter). The problem I have with Later is that it only allows visual content to be scheduled, so if you want to schedule a plain old Tweet, you can’t.

Downside for both of these apps? The ability to make a draft post and just save it for a later moment. Now I always have to schedule the post to a random moment just to save it until I have time to finish it.

I’m still looking for a nice app to edit videos with on my phone by the way. I was stupid enough to pay for an app called Viva Video and then I discovered if you buy the app, you still don’t get access to all the video editing tools. You also have to pay for those. Which I’m never going to do, because that’s a way of doing business that sucks. If you know a good video editing app for Android, let me know.

Which apps are your favourites for social media? Which ones do you use for blogging? Please tell me in the comments. 🙂

Tips

My favourite animated movies

Most of us watch animated movies when we’re kids and then, at some point in life, I feel like watching animated movies is suddenly deemed ‘childish’.  Unless, like me, you grew up with Disney and then, at some point in life, discovered there was more to the animated movie genre (but also forever love Disney). So today, let me tell you all about my favourite animated movies.

Favourite animated movies - The Secret of NIMH

01. The Secret of NIMH

I named my first pet rat after this movies and I still think it’s one of the most awesome animated movies ever. It’s the story of a tiny field mouse, looking for help to transport her sick son, because it’s almost harvest time and they need to move out of the field where she lives. She looks for help from a colony of rats, who once where part of experiments at N.I.M.H.. Humans are definitely the bad guys in this movies, but over all it has quite a creepy vibe and I absolutely adore the way the characters are drawn.

Favourite animated movies - Beauty and the Beast

02. Beauty & The Beast

Beauty and the Beast also is one of my all time favourites. I can’t recall how many times I watched and re-watched this movie. I think Bell is an awesome heroine. Unlike most old-school Disney princesses she tries to take care of things her self and isn’t a complete doormat. And she likes books. Extra bonus point there.

Favourite animated movies - The Nightmare before Christmas

03. The Nightmare before Christmas

The Nightmare before Christmas really is a classic. I remember seeing clips of it on the Disney VHS’s we had as kids, but it was only years later that I saw the movie for the first time. I loved it immediately of course and I try to watch it at least once a year, ever since.

Favourite animated movies - Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

04. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust might have been my first experience with anime. After seeing the movie for the first time I remember how blown away I was by the art work, because it was amazing. The movie tells the story of a tortured vampire hunter, looking for a girl who has been kidnapped by a vampire. Now imagine a world where things look both medieval and futuristic at the same time. Add a sprinkle of Elisabeth Bathory ruining the search party and that’s Vampire Hunter D.

Favourite animated movies - Spirited Away

05. Spirited Away

I’m staying in the anime genre with Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. This is the story of Toshiro, a young girl moving to a different city. Before she and her parents get to their new home they make a stop at an abandoned amusement park. Or so it seems. Toshiro’s parents get turned into pigs and she has to find a way to save them (and stay human herself). The set of extremely diverse characters make this movie (and about every other Studio Ghibli movie) absolutely worth watching.

Favourite animated movies - Princess Mononoke

06. Princess Mononoke

Mononke Hime is another Studio Ghibli movie. It’s a bit more on the serious side, telling the tale of the rise modern weapons (and industrialisation) and how this affects nature and the environment. As this is another Ghibli film, there are also a lot of delightful side characters, but this movie is definitely darker than Spirited Away. There’s also loads of Japanese mythology in Princess Mononoke, which I love.

Favourite animated movies - Disney's Mulan

07. Mulan

We’re back to Disney movies. I don’t think Mulan is as timeless as a lot of the other Disney movies, because of the extremely nineties music they but in it, somewhere in the beginning. But when you look past the synthesisers, Mulan is just the story of a girl trying to save her father and her country. I’ve seen the movie many times and I still love it. + it gets bonus points for the most inefficient side kicks (a cricket and a dragon the size of a lizard).

Favourite animated movies - Disney's Ratatouille

08. Ratatouille

I started this list with a movie with rats in it and I’m going to finish it with a movie with even more rats in it. Ratatouille tells the story of Remy, a brown rat, who dreams of becoming a chef. Not possible, you’d think, but this is a movie about dreams coming true. All set in Paris and with heaps of cuddly, soft, fluffy rats in it. Did I ever mention I love rats? Because I really do.

So those are (some) of my favourite animated movies. I also really liked How to Train Your Dragon and Howl’s Moving Castle, but I had to stop somewhere. Did you watch any (or all) of these movies? Which one did you like? And what is your all time favourite animated movies? Tell me in the comments!

Projects, Tips

2016 photo album (and some quick tips to make your own)

Making a photo album for 2016 was one of my goals on my 28 in 28 list. It was one of the last things I finished of this list. Creating a photo album with pictures of a whole year is a bit of an undertaking, so let me guide you through my process (and show off some pictures of my shiny new photo album).

2016 photo album

Putting my photo album together took less effort than I had expected. I keep my photos sorted according to the month they’ve been taken, so it was easy for me to find everything and put it in a chronological order in the album.

I did some research before putting the album together and decided to use Pixum for printing my photo album because it had the cheapest printing options. I also used the software provided by Pixum to put the album together. I made a couple of layouts that I would re-use throughout the album and filled these with the pictures I wanted to use.

2016 photo book

When I figured out which pictures I wanted to use in the album I gathered them all in a new folder and started editing them in Photoshop. This was the longest and most boring part of creating the photo album, but in the end, I believe it was worth the extra hassle.

The extra hours I put into editing my photos were worth it because I absolutely love how the printed photo book looks. In the past, I once made my own photo book with Instagram pictures, but this photo book is something else.

2016 photo album

Apart from the city-trips I did with my boyfriend last year, I also added a lot of random (Instagram) pictures. When I’m flipping through the pages of the photo album I love seeing those, seemingly insignificant, pictures pop-up and remembering what they stand for. I also added some pictures from cool blogger events or challenges I did during the year.

As a finishing touch I also put in a lot of the tickets, flyers and other titbits I collected during the year. They make the photo book a bit bulkier, but now it’s even more an exploration when you flip through it. So yes, did I say I love this photo album? Because I absolutely do!

2016 photo album 2016 photo album

I’m already looking forward to creating my album for 2017 and who know, maybe I’ll finally start working on my album for our trip to Russia from a couple of years ago (1200 pictures to sift through, though).

2016 photo album

I hope you liked this quick view into my 2016 photo album. Do you still print pictures? Have you ever made a photo album?

Personal, Tips

July favourites

July Favourites

It’s already the end of August and I’m just now posting my July favourites. It doesn’t make them any less my favourites though. I drew them during my 30 day creativity challenge, which is another post I still need to write and publish. But heck, better later than never, no? So here are my favourites of July.

  1. My new Fjällräven Kanken backpack! I love this backpack so much. I’d love to use it everyday and if it wasn’t for having to transport my laptop I probably would. The bright yellow colour makes me instantly happy when I look at it and I have a couple of Pony People patches that would fit it perfectly.
  2. I got myself a shiny Midori ruler in brass. When we were on our quick Paris citytrip in April I almost got it at Merci. It was pricey and I was jobless, so I decided to wait. Now I found it in a local shop in Ghent (ok, to be honest, I asked them to order it and now they sell them). It’s so fancy and sturdy and it finds my handmade faux-dori journal perfectly.
  3. July was a month of new stationary supplies. I also got myself a new fountain pen, after I got fed up with the leaking my old one did. It’s a very nice silver Waterman pen I found at a discount. It writes so smooth (even though it’s not a specialist pen for lefties, but it works perfectly).
  4. We got some very nice pink antique wineglasses. They look very pretty, although I feel like they’re a bit too nice and special to use every day. I also don’t drink much wine, so I don’t have a lot of opportunities to use them. Still, they make me happy when I see them.
  5. There’s already a whole blogpost dedicated to this, but in July I got into listening to podcasts. I made a list of my favourites podcasts, of which My Favourite Murder is my absolute favourite.
  6. After rearranging all my living room furniture and accessories I crated a small semi-jungle on top of the crates. I absolutely adore this arrangement, it’s so cute.

I hope you enjoyed this small collection of July favourites. What were your favourites in July (or August)?

Blogging, Tips

My favourite podcasts

Last year I discovered the joy of listening to audio books. Being able to get lost in a story while you can still do things like cook, clean your house or drive is pretty amazing. I always felt a bit sad that I couldn’t listen to my favourite blogs. I want to do so much different things so reading blog posts always seems the last thing to do. Podcast started gradually filling the niche blogs left and today I’m sharing a couple of my favourites.

The first podcasts I listened to where Psychobabble (with Tylor Oakly) and Not too Deep by Grace Helbig. Both are comedy podcasts. While I still like listening to them, I discovered much more awesome podcasts. I’ve seen a steady rise in popularity in podcasts since I started listening to them and I feel like this, together with video, is something  we will see more of in the following years on blogs. Which is awesome, in my opinion.

Being Boss podcastBeing Boss was the first non-comedy podcast I started listening to. That definitely doesn’t mean it’s a dry, boring show. It is thé show if you want to become a creative entrepreneur and are looking for inspiration or good advice. The hosts of Being Boss, Kathleen and Emily, are two sassy ladies, with tons of entrepreneurial experience.

They often have guests on the show, so you get tips and stories from a variety of people. One thing they all have in common though, whichever field they’re from, is that they’re all successful entrepreneurs.

After listening to Being Boss for a while I got interested in other podcasts about being a creative entrepreneur and I stumbled upon Raise your Hand, Say Yes by Tiffany Han. While Being Boss is also an inspirational podcast, in Raise your Hand, Say Yes it’s all about starting, about Doing Things. Tiffany basically talks about everything in her life and manages to get me inspired. By the end of every podcast I just want start on some project (but then I get home and I’m dead tired #realitycheck).

The Freelancer podcastIf you’re not into long podcasts about the entrepreneurial lifestyle
The Freelancer might be just up your alley. Host Paul Jarvis puts his ideas out into the world in 6 to 15 minutes. He talks about all things freelance life, from how he got started as a freelancer, to how to get clients, owning up to your mistakes, how to stay healthy or how to deal with difficult clients.

Paul also has pet rats and he calls the people who support him and understand him the most his “rat people”.  He also has a little rattie as his logo. All of which he immediately gets bonus points for.

My favorite murder podcastMy most current discovery is My favorite Murder to which I’m basically listening non stop these days. My Favorite Murder is a humoristic show about, you guessed it, murder. Not the regular garden variety murders, only the most mysterious, fucked-up or intriguing murders out there.

There aren’t many episodes yet (28 at the moment), so I’ll be going through some serious withdrawal in a couple of days. The show hosts are two funny and very real & raw ladies, who perfectly walk the line between indulging into their curiosity about murder and making funny remarks about it.

I also got a couple of other show lined up that I really want to check out. Especially Creative Peptalk; Make it, then tell everybody and Invisible Office Hours.

Do you listen to any podcasts? Anything you can recommend?

Tips, Travel, Urban Jungle

Floraliën 2016 – Sneak Peek

Floraliën Gent 2016

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go to the Floraliën sneak peek. If you’re unfamiliar with the Floraliën (Floralies in English): it’s an enormous event all about all things flora. On the Floralies you get to see the prettiest flower arrangements and sculptures and inspirational gardens. All this is set in contrast with historical locations in Ghent.

I’m a bit of a plant lady (and a cat lady, I basically live in a jungle with feral predators), so being invited I was very excited to see the sneak peek for the Floraliën. I’d never been to the Floralies before and they only take place every five years!

Floraliën Gent 2016

I met up with Elisse, Ines and Sarah and we explored the 5 km long trail, taking us from place to place, all the while talking blogs, taking silly pictures and having a good time. It was nice to see Elisse again and to meet Sarah and Ines. And it was awesome to talk about blog-stuff without people thinking I’m a crazy person living only on the internet.

Floraliën Gent 2016 - Plutomeisje has made it to the wall!

I was very happy to see Plutomeisje made it on the Floraliën name wall at the STAM. Being an eager beaver is pretty awesome sometimes. You can still make your own name in Floraliën style on the website.

Floraliën Gent 2016 - First stop: the LeopoldskazerneFloraliën Gent 2016 - First stop: the LeopoldskazerneFloraliën Gent 2016 - First stop: the Leopoldskazerne

The Floraliën went through a bit of a make over. In the past the exhibition took place in a giant event hall and was completely indoor. With the 2016 edition you have indoor and outdoor parts on all the different locations, which I actually really liked. Knowing how much people have bought a pre-sale ticket (100 000!) I think everybody will be able to appreciate the fresh air and the change of scenery between locations.

Floraliën Gent 2016 - At the Sint-Pietersplein Floraliën Gent 2016 - At the Sint-Pietersplein

There are four main locations: the Bijlokesite, the Leopoldskazerne, the Sint-Pietersplein and the Citadelpark. We did have some trouble locating the entrances to certain parts of the exhibition, but I’m sure when there’s more people on the trail finding your way won’t be a problem.

Floraliën Gent 2016 - At the Sint-Pietersplein

Photo by Elisse

Floraliën Gent 2016 - At the Sint-PieterspleinFloraliën Gent 2016 - At the Sint-PieterspleinFloraliën Gent 2016 - In the Sint-Pieters church

Thank you WallkieTalkie  and Floraliën Gent for inviting me, I had a blast! And thank you Elisse, Sarah and Ines for the company, we need to do this more often (as in companies: invite me so I can be a more sociable blogger 😉 ).

Floraliën Gent 2016 - At the CitadelparkFloraliën Gent 2016 - At the Floraliënhal in the Citadelpark

Are any of you going to the Floraliën this year? Have you ever been in the past?

Floraliën Gent from april 22nd to May 1st.
Open daily from 8h to 22h (last entrance at 21h).
For tickets & more information check the Floraliën website.

Books, Tips

My 6 Favourite Booktubers

English
BookTube

I’ve been watching BookTube for about a year now and I thinks it’s high time I shared my favourite booktubers with you!

For the readers who don’t know what BookTube is, no shame! BookTube is a (small) community of people who make book related videos and put them on their YouTube channel. Their videos range from serious discussion videos about books and the publishing industry to highly amusing book tag videos or videos with bookish challenges. You’ll also find book reviews, book shelf tours and, of course, book hauls. I follow about twenty BookTubers and today I tell you all about my favourite BookTubers.

Jen Campbell


I love the videos of Jen Campbell. She is so obviously very passionate about reading and books in general. She is also one of my favourite human beings on YouTube because she often make very validate points about how people behave or should behave and has the most interesting collections of books on her bookshelf.

Books & Quills


Sanne from Books & Quills is another of my favourite BookTubers. She does book reviews, sometimes talk about working in the publishing industry, takes you with her on book shopping trips and makes collaboration videos with some other BookTubers.

Jean Bookishthoughts


Jean of Jean Bookisthoughts studies classical literature and you’ll notice this very quickly when you start watching her YouTube channel. She often talks about greek and roman classical literature, which I really like. Classical literature almost never gets the spotlight on YouTube and the way Jean talks about it, makes you want to read it. Of course, she doesn’t only talk about classical literature, she also has monthly favourites videos, book hauls and talks about young adult books and fairy tale books.

Library at the Edge of the World


Holly form Library at the Edge of the World is a New Zealand graphic designer, who recently moved to London. She mostly talks about literary fiction and does collaboration and tag videos. I also really love her book design vlogs, where she talks about her own designs, beautiful book covers or graphic design and books in general.

Sarah Churchill


Sarah Churchill is an avid reader and a bit of a geek, which makes for another BookTuber I really like watching. She does mostly book hauls, wrap ups and review videos. I like Sarah’s videos because I feel like she’s always honest, even when she didn’t like a book.

Peruse Project


I’m always looking forward to a new video of Regan of Peruse Project, because she always makes very enthusiastic and upbeat videos. She mostly reads YA, fantasy and historical fiction. I really like her reviews and book tag videos.

Bonus BookTubers

I also want to mention Katytastic and Jesse the Reader. They both read a lot of young adult books and make a lot a tag videos and do BookTube collaborations. They’re both so enthusiastic in their videos and they don’t take themselves too serious (watch the bloopers at the end of their videos), which is a nice change of pace from a lot of other YA BookTubers.

Do you watch BookTube? Which are your favourite BookTubers? I only follow about 15 BookTubers at the moment, so I can use some new sources of awesome bookish videos.

Nederlands
BookTube

Ongeveer een jaar geleden ontdekte ik BookTube en ik denk dat het tijd is dat ik een paar van mijn favoriete BookTubers met jullie deel!

Wie geen idee heeft wie of wat BookTube precies is, geen erg! BookTube is een online community van mensen die boek-gerelateerde video’s maken en deze op hun YouTube kanaal uploaden. De video’s kunnen discussies zijn over boeken of over de uitgeverij wereld, maar kunnen evengoed amusante tag video’s zijn of uitdagingen over boeken. Natuurlijk zijn er ook boekreviews te vinden, rondleidingen in boekenkasten en, lijk duh, ook overzichtsvideos met gigantische stapels boeken die de BookTuber afgelopen maand kocht (de beruchte Book Hauls).

Jen Campbell


Oh, Jen Campbell! Voor mij is dit een van de meest interessante mensen op BookTube. Jen maakt vaak videos die oproepen tot nadenken. Nadenken over boeken, maar ook over hoe mensen zich tegen over elkaar gedragen en hoe ze met dingen omgaan. Jen is duidelijk erg gepassioneerd door boeken & lezen, ze werkt in een boekenwinkel en schrijft zelf ook boeken, en haar video’s zijn geweldig!

Books & Quills


Sanne from Books & Quills is nog zo iemand met interessante video’s. Sanne werkt bij een uitgeverij en maakt soms video’s over werken in de boeken industrie, wat altijd leuk is. Ze maakt ook collaboratie video’s met andere BookTubers en neemt haar kijkers soms mee op stap wanneer ze boeken gaat kopen in Londen.

Jean Bookishthoughts


Jean van Jean Bookisthoughts is een doctoraatstudente in klassieke literatuur, wat heel snel opvalt wanneer je naar haar YouTube kanaal kijkt. Ze praat vaak over Griekse en Romeinse klassiekers, wat ik persoonlijk wel kan appreciëren. Klassieke literatuur komt zelden aan bod op BookTube en de manier waarop Jean er over praat, zorgt er voor dat je zonder nadenken naar een van die klassieker zou grijpen. Ze praat natuurlijk niet alleen over klassieke literatuur, ze maakt ook maandelijks een video met haar favorieten in, doet book hauls en praat over sprookjesboeken en young adult.

Library at the Edge of the World


Holly van Library at the Edge of the World is een Nieuw-Zeelandse grafisch vormgeefster die recent naar Londen verhuisde. Ze praat vooral over literatuur en doet af en toe een collaboratie video en tag video’s. Holly praat ook over vormgeving van boeken, wat ik natuurlijk geweldig vind. Soms praat ze over de verschillende covers die gemaakt zijn voor één boek, maar ze heeft ook al haar eigen portfolio gedeeld en vido’s gemaakt over grafische vormgeving of boek covers in het algemeen.

Sarah Churchill


Sarah Churchill is een geeky BookTubester met een kast vol boeken (waarvoor ze niet altijd tijd heeft om ze te lezen). Ze doet vaak book hauls, review video’s en wrap up video’s waarin ze bespreekt waarin ze overloopt wat ze die maand allemaal gelezen heeft. Sarah’s video’s stralen een akward eerlijkheid uit, hoewel ik soms het idee heb (vooral bij unboxing video’s) dat ze soms extra enhousiast doet over de inhoud van een doos die naar haar gestuurd is, om niemand zijn gevoelens te kwetsen. Bij haar boek reviews doet ze daar niet zo moeilijk over en zegt ze gewoon waar het op staat.

Peruse Project


Regan van Peruse Project is een van die BookTubers die vooral YoungAdult boeken leest. Omdat het overgrote deel van BookTube zo goed als enkel YoungAdult boeken lijkt te lezen, krijg ik vaak steeds dezelfde boeken in review video’s te zien, wat niet altijd even tof is (vooral als iedereen zonder nadenken allemaal hetzelfde boek gaat zitten ophemelen). Regan is daardoor een beetje mijn vaste YA stek geworden. Ze is altijd heel erg enthousiast en vrolijk in haar video’s, wat het leuk maakt om ernaar te kijken. Als zij een overhyped boek aanprijst, dan vind ik dat zo erg niet, omdat het altijd zo oprecht enthousiast over komt. Naast Young Adult leest ze ook fantasy en historische fictie.

Bonus BookTubers

Extraatjes! Ik wou ook nog graag Katytastic en Jesse the Reader vermelden. Beide maken zo enthousiaste video’s en ze nemen zichzelf niet al te serieus (gewoon op het einde van een van hun filmpjes naar hun bloopers kijken), wat een leuke afwisseling is van de andere YA BookTubers die dat wel doen.

Zo, kijken jullie naar BookTube filmpjes? Welke zijn jullie favoriete BookTubers? Ik volg een 20-tal BookTubers momenteel, maar ik kan altijd wel een paar nieuwe bronnen van boeklievende mensen gebruiken. Misschien zijn er naast Kathleen nog een paar Nederlandstalige BookTubers?

Tips

Link Love

Link Love bannerPhoto by Liane Metzler via unsplash.com
Ladies (and gents), you’re reading the second Link Love post in the history of this blog! I’ve been meaning to write these posts regularly, but because my blog reading slacked, I didn’t had enough content to share in these little lovely updates. I’m not making any promises, we’ll see how it goes. If you want to know which blog posts I’ve enjoyed reading the past couple of days or if you need some extra inspiration because you still haven’t made up your New Years resolutions, read on!

Decor8 launched a new series about blogging. Every week she discusses another blogging trend inviting everybody to join the discussion. I love reading these #20blogtrends posts. They show blogging can be done in many different ways and every blogger should find his or her own peculiar blogging style. My favorite post until now is the “Blog Trends: Earn Money Without Guilt” post. If you’ve ever felt guilty about charging money for something that you’ve put on your blog or if you’ve ever looked down on a blogger running ads or selling e-books, read this and think again. Remember: bloggers don’t live of rainbows and hugs.
This is the worst compliment anyone can give me
The Middle Finger Project on creativity
Typography Art Envelope Tutorial

Inspiration for some New Year’s Resolutions:

Give yourself a 50 book challenge. Read all about it on The Pretty Books blogs & set yourself a goal!
If you don’t have a lot of inspiration for creating your own 50 books challenge or you’re up for a special edition: Popsugar’s 2015 reading challenge might be perfect for you! They made a list of 50 challenges that’ll help you read more diversely. The Verbeelding Bookclub on Goodreads also has it’s own challenge, so why not join that one?
Why you should do a 365 days project
The girls at A Beautiful Mess have some good tips to achieve goals and to stay motivated.

Blogging, Tips

Choose your blog reader: Bloglovin vs. Feedly

English

I quite often come across people who are wondering how to follow blogs in an easy way. Most people seem to keep all their favourite blogs in a bookmark file or follow them on Facebook, which isn’t so easy after all. Luckily there are two awesome websites that’ll make your blog-reading life easier: Bloglovin and Feedly. These blog readers are specifically designed for following and reading blogs. It’s very easy to sign up and add new blogs to your feed.

Bloglovin

Bloglovin is, to be honest, not my favourite reader for following blogs. I miss some options, but I heard from a lot of people how they love Bloglovin. Everybody can sign up for free at Bloglovin. When you have a blog yourself you can claim your blog, this way it will be linked to your profile on the site. You can add new blogs to your feed by typing in the name in the search bar. Via “edit blogs you follow” under the heart shaped menu button you can edit your blogs, but you can also put them into different groups, which is very handy when you follow a lot of different blogs.

Bloglovin has this very lovely Popular Posts and Find Blogs options, in which you can find trending blogposts or up an coming blogs. Of course, you can find Plutomeisje on Bloglovin. 😉 What I personally don’t like about Bloglovin is when you click on a post the site brings you to the blog to read it. I find this a bit tedious because when you want to read the next post you either have to go back to the Bloglovin site and click on the next post or you can click on the “older” arrow, but when you do this you can’t choose what post you’ll read next.

Feedly

Feedly does satisfies all my requirements as a blog reader. Feedly has a lot of options, so it might take a bit longer to figure everything out. I really like how you can arrange all your blogs into different groups and you can decide on the lay-out of every group separately. If you like to see pictures, you can select the “cards” view, if you want more text, you select the magazine lay-out. You can also decide the lay-out for every blog on it’s own, which is so neat! When you have blogs that posts a lot of new articles you can select the “titles” option and you’ll only see the titles.

You can sign-up for Feedly with you Google or Facebook account, but if you have a Twitter, Windows or Evernote account you can sign up with those too. Feedly also has this “You Might Also Like” option in which they show you blogs that are similar to the one you’re reading at the moment. You can also easily save and tag blogosts and you can share them or add them to a lot of different apps. Feedly also has a very nice app. And when you do like reading blog posts in their original environment: you can switch on that function in Feedly. Adding blogs is also very easy, you do this by typing the name of url into the search bar or by clicking on Ad Content in the side bar. And yes, you can follow Plutomeisje on Feedly.

So, how do you keep track of you favourite blogs? Do you use a blogreader of Facebook? Of maybe something else entirely?

Nederlands

De laatste tijd hoor ik regelmatig mensen vragen hoe je blogs nu eigenlijk best volgt, want al die links en Facebookpagina’s bijhouden, dat is toch niet alles. Wel m’n beste lezers daar bestaan oplossingen voor! Toen Google Reader een paar jaar terug ter ziele ging, kwamen er twee heel goede alternatieven op de markt: Bloglovin en Feedly. De bedoeling van deze twee blog readers is heel simpel: je maakt een account aan en je verzamelt al je favoriete blogs op één plaats.

Bloglovin

Bloglovin is om heel eerlijk te zijn niet mijn favoriete blog reader. Ik hou van net iets meer opties, maar ik heb al van veel mensen gehoord dat ze wel heel tevreden zijn met Bloglovin. Op Bloglovin kan iedereen gratis een account aanmaken en voor mensen die zelf bloggen: je kan ook je blog ‘claimen‘, waardoor hij gelinkt wordt aan je Bloglovin profiel. Via de zoekfunctie kan je blogs opzoeken en aan je feed toevoegen. Via “edit blogs you follow” in het menu onder het hartje kan je blog indelen in groepen.

Verder is Bloglovin voor heel handig omwille van hun Popular Posts en Find Blogs opties, waar je alle trending blogposts en up & coming blogs kan terugvinden. Je kan Plutomeisje natuurlijk ook terugvinden op Bloglovin. 😉 Wat ik een beetje een nadeel vind aan Bloglovin is dat telkens je op een blogbericht klikt om het te lezen je naar de blog zelf gebracht wordt. Om een volgend bericht te kunnen kiezen moet je terug naar de Bloglovin site. Je kan natuurlijk ook met de pijltjes naar de volgende post klikken, maar dan weet je niet wat er komt en ik kies graag wat ik als volgende wil lezen.

Feedly

Feedly voldoet dan weer wel perfect aan mijn behoeften. Door de vele opties vraagt het wel iets meer werk om deze blog reader uit te pluizen. Om maar iets op te noemen: je kan je posts net als bij Bloglovin sorteren in verschillende groepen en je kan zelf kiezen hoe je deze groepen wilt weergeven. Zie je graag foto’s, dan krijg je foto’s met een beetje tekst bij, wil je enkel de titels in een lijst zien staan, dan kan dat ook. Je kan ook op de naam van een blog klikken waarbij je alle posts te zien krijgt. Hierbij kan je per blog gaan beslissen hoe die posts moeten weergegeven worden. Bij hele drukke blogs kies ik voor de lijst optie, bij fotografie blogs voor de magazine look.

Aanmelden bij Feedly kan op basis van een Google of een Facebook-account, maar kan ook via Twitter, Windows of Evernote. Feedly heeft ook een heel handige “You Might Also Like” functie waarbij er altijd een paar blog gesuggereerd worden op basis van de blog die je aan het lezen bent. Je kan ook post bewaren, tags toevoegen of de blogpost delen of toevoegen aan een heleboel verschillende apps. Feedly heeft zelf trouwens een hele handig app. En voor wie wél graag posts op de originele blog leest: je kan die functie gewoon aanzetten in Feedly. Blogs toevoegen doe je door ze in de zoekbalk in te geven (of door op Ad Content in de zijbalk te klikken) en ja, je kan Plutomeisje ook terugvinden op Feedly.

Hoe volgen jullie je favoriete blogs? Via een blogreader, via Facebook of op nog een andere manier?