Walhallavagen

Just an ordinary girl's life

Super quick update

Just checking in real quick to share a really cool youtube channel I found a few days ago called Slow & Clear Chinese,  where you can listen to audio tracks on different topics at a very very beginner-friendly speed.

Every track has a first part in which the speaker reads a story at a very slow pace and with extremely clear pronunciation, followed by the same story re-read at normal speed. In addition,  you can find the complete transcript in the video’s info box.

You can clearly see that a lot of work and effort has been put behind every video and the overall quality is really high. That’s exactly the kind of practice I was looking for, as it’s the perfect way to both get accustomed to the spoken language and learn new vocabulary from a wide range of different settings. Absolutely brilliant.

As I shared this morning on Instagram, I’m planning to keep up with listening for a few more days and then switch to intense reading practice next week. Still going strong on Duolingo (I plan to finish all lessons by the end of this month) to keep vocabulary and colloquial expressions fresh. An overall A1 + A2 levels grammar review would be much needed as well, let’s see if I can fit it in somehow.

Still snowing here in the Highlands, no spring for us no more, nope.

 

Listening to 에브리 싱글 데이 (I’m freakin’ loving it!)
Watching: Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (no wonder)

 

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Kickstarting Spring: current study workflow

Not that I can call the current weather exactly spring tbh (we’re expecting snow tonight – AGAIN), but yes, even if I keep wearing the same clothes I’ve actually been wearing for the last seven months, I can still feel the change in the air. Plus we have so many hours of light during the day now that loafing about in blankets and darkness is not an option anymore.

Since last week I’ve been working hard on my Chinese study routine, polishing and refining my workflow and the kind of resources I want to use at the moment. I know that if I want to successfully handle HSK3 I need to broaden and deepen my knowledge at 360 degrees – studying just for the test is not going to work anymore.

So I’ll just leave all HSK3-related resources (apart from listening tracks) for the last stage of the review process while I try to delve into vocabulary and grammar.

I’m following a pretty easy, quick and (for the moment) effective workflow:

  1. vocab/ grammar practice on Duolingo with notes. I talked about how I’ve changed my approach to that app in my previous post, so I’m not going to repeat myself here. I listen to the audio, jot down any vocab / grammar pattern / characters that I want to focus on, and then constantly review previous materials to keep my memory fresh.
  2. listening practice with ChineseClass101 on youtube with notes. I discovered that CC101 has a YT channel with some interesting resources – specifically, long audio tracks divided by levels in which you listen to a dialogue first and then pick up the right answer among the pictures you see on the screen (example here). My listening skills are still pretty low but I’m working really hard on them right now.

As I said in my previous post, I have to avoid focusing too much on keeping on always the same routine. I think for the kind of study sessions that I have the ideal would be one week of focus on grammar and vocab (plus listening), followed by a week of focus on reading (plus listening). I was reading an article about the importance of continuous input this morning, and I was considering starting using LingQ for my combined reading and listening practice. Anyone who has used the app and has some thoughts about it?

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On a totally random note, yesterday I finished reading the third book of the Bitterbynde saga which brings me to exactly ten books finished since January. I know that compared to the reading pace of many book-lovers out there it sounds almost ridiculous, but for me is a pretty good achievement. Even more so since I’ve actually enjoyed all the books I’ve read this year!

I’m also on episode 15/16 of Hello Monster/I remember you, which means I’m preparing myself to be on mourning once I’ve finished watching it. Can I just list one more time all the things that make this K drama absolutely amazing?

  1. plot
  2. OST
  3. character development
  4. mental thriller vibes
  5. character interactions
  6. strong female lead
  7. AMAZING bromance
  8. mystery and suspance
  9. a sense of ‘reality is more complex than just black and white’
  10. casting
  11. EXO references
  12. and I could go on and on

I need to watch more crime and psychological thriller-style dramas. As usual any recommendation would be more than welcome.

___

On another random note, I would like to do some spring cleaning and decluttering but since I know I’ll live in this place for just another 4 months I’ve lost all motivation ._.

Anyway, I just had a peach and lime 150 gr yogurt (is it yogurt or yoghurt in English?) pot as you can’t truly have spring without some peachy flavour in your life!

 

Weather: (kind of) sunny
Listening to: Spaceinvader – Acceleration
Drinking: Starbucks peach iced green tea
Currently reading: City of Fallen Angels (Shadowhunters 4)

 

Still getting it all wrong

Sometimes I wonder how I managed to be successful in school, considering how bad I am at self-learning languages right now.

No, seriously. How did I do that?

Let’s talk about Duolingo, for example.

Since a couple of days ago, my approach was: I do it first thing in the morning, while I’m still in bed, so that I’m sure not to forget about it, and so that I don’t lose my streak, and so that I have another thing to cross off my to do list for the day.

It’s not wrong per se. But can you feel how dry of all this is?

The point is not striking through items on my to do list. It’s not having a 52 days streak. It is (or should be, at this point) to gain knowledge, to develop and expertise, and even more importantly to enjoy the process.

It’s easy to see how I got it all wrong.

Funny thing is, I kept having the same approach for, like, weeks. I know perfectly that I’m not learning much, I can totally feel it – still, I keep going. I seriously can’t figure out what’s wrong with me.

Anyway, now, new approach!

I’m trying to make to most out of my Duolingo practice, which basically means giving more attention to new vocabulary and grammar patterns (though Duolingo is definitely not the best resource for learning grammar).

Instead of doing it in bed, I now use the app while seating at my desk, with my notebook/macbook/ipad open in front of me so that I can take notes on new characters, pronunciation and stuff like that. I mainly use OneNote for this purpose, though I sometimes take notes on paper as well.

Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 12.16.10

I also try to give more space to revision. I know that many people in the language learning community claim you shouldn’t waste much time revising the things you already learnt but rather concentrate on continuous input – unfortunately this approach doesn’t really work for me. If I don’t review what I studied the day / week / month before, it’s like it never happened. I’m not yet at the stage in which I can reinforce my past knowledge by just reading and consuming materials meant for native speakers.

One thing that I have to be careful with is the trap of using always the same resources and focusing too much on revising past materials. Moving forward too fast is not helpful and can undermine my foundations in the long term, but getting into the rut of repeating always the same things is equally dangerous. Language learning is pretty much a balancing game, and we all know that in medio stat virtus.

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I’m still watching Hello Monster / I remember you and I’M. JUST. LOVING. IT. SO. MUCH.

I can’t believe how perfect everything is in that drama, from the characters to the plot to the actors to the OST. I bloody love it and I already know this is just one of a numerous series of rewatch sessions.

On the wake of this renewed passion for K dramas, I started watching Strong Woman Do Bong Soon on Netflix. Not as great as IRY of course, but I’m honestly surprised by how much I’m enjoying it. I think it’s mostly because it finally has a female lead that I truly like and respect 🙂

I still have to finish watching CSIC. With only 4 episodes left I really don’t know what I’m waiting for to finish it – apart from the fact that I never feel like watching it ._.  I love crime stories but this one in particular never really caught my attention. It has all the potential but it’s like it’s always holding back; I still want to finish it though, and move on.

 

Listening to: Fuzgati ~ Neon Noir ♥
Weather: sunny and rainy at the same time
Drinking: loose leaves chai tea ♥

So this is how it’s going to be from now on

I’ve realised something in the last couple of years. Learning a language independently is HARD. It’s hard to have a regular schedule, to test yourself, to keep the motivation up.

It’s even harden when you don’t feel like you live in a place that can support your commitment. No Chinese related events, no language courses, no resources at the library at the moment. I’m not someone who constantly needs a network of people in order to do things, but sometimes it feels a little too lonely even for me.

I hope at least this beat will change once we move to Edinburgh. But for now, I have to roll up my sleeves and figure out a way to rekindle the spark on my own.

The day before yesterday I shared on Instagram how I think I should approach this momentary falling-out-of-love stage of my learning process. The answer is: total self immersion. I feel detached and unmotivated mostly because I don’t have enough Asian stuff in my life.

I need more books about contemporary Asian culture and society, more dramas, more music, more food. Motivation tends to feed itself, so the more the better. And also more direct involvement rather than passive consumption of materials and resources – which simply means, using more Chinese in my daily life.

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Speaking of dramas, last month I finally managed to finish watching Goblin. I have mixed feelings about it – I loved some of the characters and there were a few absolutely hilarious scenes (plus the ending of episode 13 was reaaaaaally moving). The OST was impressive as well.

This said, I found the first 7 episodes quite boring and slow; the characters just seemed to be going in circles and I noticed a wide rage of always-repeating situations. I’m also somewhat meh about the last 3 episodes, I think they dragged it a little too much. A more dramatic end would have broken my heart, but also left a bigger impact.

In order to fall in love again with K dramas (as I realised I was often ‘forcing’ myself to watch Goblin for the sake of finishing it, rather than for the enjoyment), I decided to start rewatching one of my favourite K dramas of all times [Hello Monster / I remember you].

Oh boy. This is a drama with capital D!

I actually have to force myself not to binge watch it because I love it so much that I just can’t stop. Does anyone know any drama similar to this one? Any recommendation would be much appreciated 😇

 

Life updates and various bits&pieces

I’ve been away from this blog for longer than I thought/wanted, as it often happens. But I’m not gonna bore you people with all the ‘things will be different from now on’ (they won’t) pep talks.

Last month, the significant other has been offered a job in Edinburgh, starting August 1st.

So, yeah. We’re going to move to Edinburgh.

>>>insert happy emojis here<<<

Edinburgh is such a vibrant and dynamic city, literally bursting with cultural activities and incredible energy – THERE’S JUST SO MUCH TO DO. Theatres, concerts, events, festivals, fairs, libraries, shops, food, you name it. I’m so so so happy I’ve actually already started looking for accommodation 😆 (and also found and lost my dream house in 24h -.-). I would love love love to find an apartment in Stockbridge or Dean Village, but I think they’ll be out of reach for us in terms of budget (Edinburgh is pretty expensive in terms of house renting, at least for Scotland’s standards).

Of course I’ve already checked the area and found both the local Confucius Institute and Japanese society 😎

At the same time, I know I’m going to miss the Highlands a lot. The nature and scenery here are literally breathtaking, people are lovely, and everything is just so enjoyable. I’m going to miss living close to the city centre and at the same time being able to have river Ness and the parks at only 10 minutes of walk away.

The truth is, I just feel so blessed to live in a country in which we can find ourselves at home everywhere we go. Everything in Scotland is just amazing and I just can’t be grateful enough for how lucky we are.

I just hope this will be our last move for a while since packing and unpacking is seriously exhausting – plus I’d like to settle and start being more involved in local projects and activities, something I can’t do if we keep moving every year.

This said, there are going to be some consequences on my language learning plans as well. I know I said that I was most likely going to take HSK3 in April, and there’s nothing in this world that I hate more than changing plans and go back on my word, but in the light of the recent news I don’t think this would actually be the best course of action.

My plan was to sit the test in Aberdeen (since there are no HSK test centres where I live), which is 2,5h by train away from here. I was doable of course but not ideal, plus it would have been impossible for me to attend the free preparation classes they were offering there. And after the test, I would have had to go back to Aberdeen just to pick up my certificate.

(Which reminds me: I never went to get my HSK2 certificate from Confucius Institute in Florence. HA!)

Now that I know I’ll be living in Edinburgh soon, there’s really no point in going through all this fuss. I can conveniently sign up for the test there, attend all the prep courses I want – and, why not, I may even consider to attend a proper Chinese language course at Confucius institute there, either before or after the test. It’s definitely cheaper, more practical and strees-free for me.

The only downside is the for some reason in Edinburgh they hold examinations only three time a year, which means the fist available spot will be Saturday 1st December ._. considering that I took HSK2 in February of 2016, it would mean almost 2 years later. Oh well. I guess I’ll just swallow my pride and get over it.

 

Studying with words and phrases: current decks

I’ve mentioned here and there how I’ve been playing with Duolingo and Memrise lately, in order to improve my vocab and be able to put words in the right context. Both D and M have their pros and cons of course, even though it depends a lot on the kind of decks you decide to study (for Memrise, as on Duolingo you only pick the language).

When I first started off, Language Learner Enthusiasm got the best of me as usual and I started studying a lot of different courses at once (-.-). I’ve now narrowed down the material I’m currently using so here’s the recap:

  1. Chinese course (Duolingo). Well, I already said that you don’t really have a choice on Duolingo, you complete all the levels for your target language and when you’re done you just keep reviewing them (actually the review part starts way before having completed the course). There are a number of things that I find annoying about Duolingo, but it’s still useful practice. I’m currently at 71/88 stations, so I guess Iit’ll take me another month to complete it, and then I’ll just keep up with the review.
  2. Chinese for HSK3 Part I: Paking University (Memrise). This is the vocab review for a HSK3 prep course I started attending on Coursera a couple of months ago (still have to finish it). It’s very convenient having flashcards for all new words already prepared to review (instead of having to manually put them into Anki or a similar systems), and it’s even more helpful if you follow the lessons on Memrise along with the classes on Coursera. There are a few technical issues with this course (like audio track doing weird things), but overall I’ve been enjoying it (especially since it doesn’t use a lot of pinyin). I’m currently at 8/30 lessons, so way to go.
  3. Mandarine Chinese 2 (Memrise). Completed! Though I want to keep it reviewed since there were quite a few words it took me a lot of time to master and I don’t want to waste all my good efforts. It’s a bit annoying that the number of words to review increases exponentially day by day, but I’ll manage.
  4. Mandarine Chinese 1 (Memrise). Completed as well, but I have yet to start reviewing it. There were quite a few words/phrases I never really learnt properly, so I’ll go back to it once I finish my current open deck.
  5. French 1 (Memrise). This has actually nothing to do with Chinese or other Asian languages but since I’ve been studying it steadily for more than a month now I thought it was worth mentioning. 16/18 lessons, so I’ll start French 2 before the end of the month.
  6. HSK level 3 (Memrise). I barely started this deck and then set it aside because I wasn’t making any progresses. Tbh I don’t remember exactly what wasn’t working for me at the time (maybe too much focus on characters’ radicals?), I’ll just take the time to retry studying with it and decide if it’s worth retrieving or to toss it for good.

I also started a Remembering simplified hanzi course (Memrise) but I didn’t like it, again for reasons I now can’t remember. I guess that it’s pretty easy to evaluate whether you’re actually making progresses with a certain course of not, and that’s the beauty of these apps imho.

On whether it makes sense to study both M and D at the same time, I honestly cannot say. They’re pretty similar so in the end I think it’s more a psychological factor (I’m studying with two apps = I’m making more effort) than an actual growth of your progresses. For now I don’t find it too cumbersome, so I’ll keep up with both of them – but I wouldn’t have any problem dropping the one or the other.

Maybe it makes more sense to study a deck on one of the two, and then when it’s done keep it reviewed while studying a new course on the other. When I first started reviewing my French on Memrise I thought to start the course on Duolingo as well, but than I changed my mind and I kept working just on one app for the time being. I’ll try the French deck on Duolingo when I’m done with French II on Memrise.

Of course those are by no means sufficient to really progress in the language, but they are a quick and easy way to ensure you practice your target language everyday (and they’re way more fun and appealing than Anki).

_ _ _

I’m now at episode 9 of Goblin, and the story is finally starting to get moving. Gong Yoo is just amazing, Lee Dong-Wook is great support character and I absolutely adore every gag between Kim Shin and the grim reaper.

This said, I find the female lead somewhat annoying (as usual). She’s not worse than others tbh, but still, I wish I could have seen a stronger female character for once. Plus I’m a bit sick of these characters with super extra mega hyper miserable lives who are hated by literally everyone. I mean, seriously.

So yeah, I like it, but I’m still not loving it. I know that it’s a great product and I honestly wish I could feel super hooked, but I’m not. I wish that at least the story could be a little less slow, it has been 8 episodes of almost nothing ._.

_ _ _

I think I’m going to have vegetarian nachos tonight, watch something quick on Netflix and then be in bed by 8 for my reading session before sleeping. Today the weather was super cold and sunny and I was dying to go out for a walk. I hope to have another chance tomorrow, as I’m planning a 6:30 walk in the park 🙂

Currently listening to: Lany ~ Made in Hollywood
Currently wearing: New Retro Wave tee, black jogger, pink socks

 

 

It’s never too late to start a new year ~ 2018 goals & stuff

Yesterday I received very good news, which could actually have been very bad news, related to my health. I feel extremely lucky and blessed, as the alternative would have deeply impacted my future life and probably also my mental health. I’m immensely grateful for the chance I’ve been given and I intend to honour it by living a healthy life as much as I can.

I can’t deny that I’ve been living in a kind of limbo during January, no daring to plan as much since I didn’t know how my life would have turned out to be. Now I feel like I can finally take the reins and start making a proper plan for myself.

Plus Chinese New Year is 16th February this year, so I’m still on time right?


2018 Goals and Plans

I already shared my personal goals for 2018 in this post. Those are the most mundane things that I want to think about, but of course they don’t represent the core of what I want to achieve in 2018. I have specific goals for my career and my Chinese studies, but also for my reading activity and, of course, my health (see above).

Truth is, I don’t wanna do things differently in 2018. I want to do things more mindfully, be present, stay in the moment, be aware of my time. This is the most important achievement for me this year, and I think that yoga can be an important exercise in this sense. I’m not much one who lingers in the past, rather, I’m always focused on the future: when things will be better, brighter, more satisfying. I still have to convince my brain that nothing will ever be better and brighter if I just think about it, or plan it, without actually doing it.

Plus there’s the never-ending trap of perfectionism (I talked about it here). 2017 has been great for me to learn about all these patterns of behaviour; I’m ready to work on them in 2018, as difficult as it may be.

One essential thing I want to do this year is to close all my open loops. I have projects that I never actually concluded, books that I started reading and then left back in Italy, home organisation plans left half completed and so on. The ideal scenario would be to close all my uncompleted project and avoid starting new ones, just focusing on what I have on my plate at the moment, which is more than enough.

In terms of planning system, for the second year in a row I’ll be using Trello to track my goals and progresses. I have a board called ‘2018 goals’ which holds four lists. In the first one I have a card for each area of my life (personal, career, Chinese, wellness and fitness etc), and within each card I have multiple checklists with all the details of the things I want to accomplish this year in that specific area. In the second list I have four cards: winter, spring, summer and autumn, which is basically my quarterly plan. The third list has a card for each month of the year, meaning, monthly goals. The fourth and last list has various cards with motivational images and quotes for those time in which I feel like I need a boost of energy, or I just feel uninspired.

I’m trying to be as specific as I can this year in breaking down my goals, as one of the things that didn’t help me much in 2017 was a lack of specificity and attainability in the way I wrote things down for myself.

Another thing that I’ve finally managed to incorporate in my planning routine is the elusive weekly review. Every Friday I sit down for an hour or so and review all my main boards on Trello, my lists on Wunderlist, Apple Reminders, paper planner and current notebook. I’ve been doing this consistently for a couple of months now, and I can honestly say that even if I can’t really measure its impact on my overall productivity, it has surely increased my awareness of the actual status of things in my life. In short, I know where I stand.


Chinese

I finished studying a Memrise deck called Mandarin Chinese 2 today (it was in my goals for January to complete it, so yay!), so I’m now in the process of planning my next move.

I think I’ll go on with my Chinese practice on Duolingo (though I haven’t been really loving it tbh – for a number of reasons that I’ll explain in a later post) + I’ll finish the other deck I started on Memrise back in December (Chinese for HSK3 Part I by Peking University, which pairs the course I was attending on Coursera – perfect match 👍🏻).

February is also listening practice challenge month over on Hacking Chinese, and gosh do I need more listening practice in my life right now (I do).

I’ve found a lot of inspiring people on Instagram lately, fellow Asian-languages learners who supply me with a unexpected wave of motivation through their beautiful shots. I plan to be a lot more present on Instagram in February, to suck up all the good vibes and also share my own journey as much as possible.

The plus one is on night shift this weekend so I have Fri, Sat and Sun nights for myself – Chinese study + sushi and drama 😝 though to have sushi I should get out of the house, which with this weather is kind of out of question 😅 I could make onigiri instead though 🤔


General monthly goals

I’ve been good with books this month: I’ve finished two novels and I’ve read 1/3 of my current book (my goal was to finish 2 this month). I read a historical fiction and a Scandinavian thriller, while right now I’m digging in a young adult novel. I’m enjoying the variety in my reading materials, I would like to keep it up in the upcoming months. I’m starting a reading tandem with one of my girlfriends tomorrow (we’re re-reading Cry to Heaven by Anne Rice) and I honestly can’t wait, it’s going to be so much fun!

Oh, by the way: if someone of you lovely readers wants to do a reading session together just drop me a message, I’d love to do that!

I was also pretty good at finishing up stuff like teas (2 boxes), skincare products (a face toner and a night cream) and candles (I finished the one I had bought before Christmas, ‘winter spices’). I guess in February I’ll have a few makeup products I’ll be able to finally get rid of. I’m also going to make a serious effort in exercising more and eating better this month (again, see above), but I’m already on the right path, eating my 5 a day and drinking my water everyday.

 

This was a lengthy post but it was long due, since my lack of regular updates in January. I’m now off to bed as I want to allow myself some reading time before sleeping at 10pm sharp (for the despair of the significant other 😝). I’ve gone back to a 10pm/7am sleeping pattern, hoping to bring it down to 10/6:30 (maybe even 10/6) – but I guess for that I’ll have to wait for a little more natural light in the morning as the dark still makes me super drowsy and sleepy!

2018 Blog manifesto

I’m typing this on my iPad while lounging on our Air b’n’b apartment’s couch, and since WordPress app is even more annoying than the desktop version in terms of text formatting, I cannot guarantee the ending result will be an aesthetically pleasing one.

This will probably be a very short post anyway, because I don’t have a specific plan for my blog in 2018.

In December I mapped out my goals for the new year in a quite detailed manner for every other area of my life, but I left my blog section blank. Probably because I’m not sure of which direction to take.

In the second half of 2017 I put in a lot more effort and as a consequence I was able to post a lot more, something I’m happy about and that I don’t regret. This said, I don’t think I can keep up with that pace in 2018 – because I want to put my focus elsewhere. 2017 may not have been a year of huge achievements, but it definitely helped to increase my awareness about time – how I spend it, and what it’s really worth.

There are other areas of my life I was scared to face before but that I’m ready to work on now, and they will have the priority.

Plus maybe I was getting tired of certain things I used to write about. This blog is a (filtered) window on what’s going on in my life, and as my interests change, so does it. Some things will have to go, others may come in. It’s a work in progress, like everything else.

I want to talk more about language learning, that is for sure. And to do so, I actually have to learn more. I also promised to be more present on Instagram [I would insert the link to my profile here, but again, WordPress app], something I’ve been trying to work on a little more since January 1st. A general cleaning of my social media life would be appropriate now that I think about it.

As always, I am working to make my life easier and simpler. And my blog is no exception.

🌸🌿🌸

Resolutions and plans – but most importantly, just feeling good

It’s 4:20pm of Monday 15th of January. It’s a Monday. And it’s a 15th. How incredibly motivating is that? Am I the only one who gets excited about this things? No Blue Monday for me, definitely.

The apartment is sparkling clean and it smells like Marseille soap and winter spices from the candle I’ve been burning in the last couple of hours. I’ve just brewed one of my favourite teas in the entire world, I have my pre-shampoo hair mask on and we’re expecting snow in the next couple of hours.

I feel good, and I feel motivated.

I’ve been reading about people giving up on their 2018 goals already and looking for ways to keep them up. I personally feel like it’s still Jan 1st in terms of good vibes and enthusiasm, I can’t even conceive to feel tired about my goals already. Everything still needs to start, pretty much.

This is the point actually – I am a big daydreamer and I constantly generate thousands of ideas, so much so that sometimes I just forget to start acting upon them. I’ve already drafted out my goals for 2018, of course (I’ve been working on them since November), but I know that for me, now, this is not enough.

That’s way I’ve decided to take the plunge and commit myself to take HSK3 on 21st April.

I had plans to take it in February in Florence (since I would cost me much less there), but the date was too early and I don’t think I’ll actually visit home before March anyway. So, thanks to the plus one’s support, I’ve decided to take it here in April and call it a day.

I haven’t signed up for it yet and I think I’ll wait a bit longer just to be super super super sure I can actually attend (the plus one is on the job interviews phase and it’s kind of intense here in the UK ._.), but I’ve already made up my mind and that’s what really counts.

So now I really need to study hard.

And, you know what? I love it. I love the feeling of having a deadline, a plan, a clear specific goal to reach. I’ve been working towards HSK3 for 80% of 2017 and come up to almost nothing. Now I have a date and it’s like the world has changed entirely for me.

I feel motivated but I also need to create motivation around me. Am I making any sense?

Truth is, no matter what happens in my life I will always love to study languages and feel good about it. I’m immensely grateful for all the good things that I’ve experienced these last few years thanks to LL and for the amazing people I’ve met here on the blog or on twitter/instagram.

And because of my love for studying languages, I’ve also started revamping my French over on Memrise lately – and I’m not going to apologise for that.

Why would I stop doing the things that I love?

Oh, and as of yesterday I’ve also picked up Goblin again from where I left it back in September. I have to admit, I’m not exactly loving it but I’m curious enough to see where the story is heading. More updates on that as well!

Listening to: Miami Beach Force ~ Silent Strike
Currently Watching: Goblin (Korean drama)
Currently Reading: Neil Oliver ~ Master of Shadows

 

 

Happy 2018 ~ Year of the Dog!

新年快乐!

It’s a gloomy and super cold day here in the outskirts of Europe, so I’m spending the first day of the year at home with books and hot chocolate (and mini marshmallows!) 😋

This year Jan 1st is also a Monday, which gives me a lot of motivation to be productive 😀

So, my goals for 2018:

  1. wear nail polish or lipstick at least once a week
  2. take (and pass!) HSK3
  3. finish 10 skincare products from my collection
  4. read 25 books (3rd year in a row)
  5. use my Legami planner for the entire year
  6. watch at least 6 Asian dramas (1 every 2 months, seems doable)
  7. buy a new pair of high heels
  8. go to a festival (the Uk has a very large selection!)
  9. get a second piercing
  10. buy a luxurious edition of one of my favourite classics
  11. grow my hair longer and dye my ends pink (again), purple (again), blue and teal!
  12. be a  better instagramer (though I already know I’ll fail)

The underlying project for this year is : close all my open loops (more on this soon!).

I’m gonna end my first day of the year with a bubble bath and a nachos&movie night to enjoy with the significant other 🙂

Happy new year to all my dear blog and twitter friends! 🎉