Jump from paper

When I first saw the Jump from Paper bags, I didn’t quite know what to think of them:fascinating, slightly creepy and how on earth does anything fit in those purses???
Yet I still kept going back to look at the Martini-bag, cause honestly a bag that combines polka dots and my beloved black and red combination… What’s not to love.

After seeing the Ballerina-bag live and seeing how much fits in there, I was certain: I want that Martini bag!

So when the nice people over at Sobaggy announced a 30% sales discount on the whole Jump from Paper collection it was only a matter of a few clicks before the bag was ordered… And delivered the next business day (with a nice card and a bag of vanilla and coconut flavoured popcorn, which I’ll share with my friends during the next roleplaying session).

And here she is, isn’t she lovely?

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How do you feel about the 2D-look of this handbag? Are you tempted to buy one?

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What’s in the bag – the Castlefest edition

Castlefest is a is a medieval/fantasy/pagan festival (and so much more) that is held each year during the first weekend of August in the gardens of Castle Keukenhof in the Netherlands.
It is also a yearly mini vacation for me and my housemates and always feels like being home from home;  a place to come to rest, meet old friends, make new friends, browse the stalls, enjoy the food, listen to the music,..

Just like when I’m traveling or going to a theme park, I like to pack for the occasion, taking along the essentials when I’m at the festival grounds, without carrying around too much stuff.
In order to do this as comfortable as possible, I take along the Hard Rock Café backpack I got with my membership welcome pack a few years back, turns out it’s ideal since it’s lightweight and just the right size to fit all my stuff.

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So let’s see what goes into the backpack:
– lightweight version of my wallet and my medication and makeup essentials bag
– pocket versions of sunscreen, deodorant and hand sanitizer
– tissues
– my sunglasses and bug repellent spray (it is summer after all)
– my chopsticks (cause I (almost) never leave home without them)
– a battery pack for my phone to keep in touch with friends in order to meet up and make arrangements
– a lightweight rain poncho (bought at Graspop Metal Meeting last year)
– an extra sweater, because the secret to all outings is layers, layers, layers (especially when you’re good with hot and/or cold weather but not with temperature changes… I’m the girl who puts on a sweater in the evening when it’s only 30°C after a day of 40°C, while all the others finally stop huffing and puffing)

In previous years that bag would also have contained my dancing shoes,but since I’m still struggling with my energy levels and I’ll have to makes sure I take the necessary rest and naps even without dancing, I’m deliberately leaving them at home in order not to get too tempted. (I’m sooo proud of myself now!)

Do you have a standard packing list for when you go to festivals and the likes? Is there any type of bag you like or prefer for those outings?

What’s in the bag – the summer edition

Earlier this week I felt my purse was a bit “too warm” for the time of the year.

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So I swapped one Winnie the Pooh bag for another, this one not bought at Disneyland but at one of those private sales sites like Vente Exclusive and Snapstore.

Inside I’m carrying the following with me:

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– SPF50+ kiddie sunscreen (extreme sensitive skin is extremely sensitive
– Deo
– A book (for when I get stranded again)
– Make up and medicines essentials bag
– A foldable shopping bag (this one was a gift upon purchase from Yves Rocher)
My pretty foxy wallet
– Paper towels
– My key collection (which has an extra key since last time)
– My chopsticks
– Card holder thingies
– Some paperwork and my colour chart

All in all good for slightly under 2kg, so still a good student!

Oh and as an added bonus the proof I could be taken on my word about the lilac version of these summery shoes.

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Do you change bags to better match the weather, your outfit or maybe your mood?

Travelling light

When I go on vacation, visit a museum, a theme park, a zoo, … I prefer to take along a smaller purse, preferably a backpack, as opposed to my regular one.

Mainly to avoid any unnecessary extra weight when a lot of walking is involved, but also to avoid things getting lost.

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I bought this one from Hedgren to take  along on my first trip to Disney World back in 2010.
I chose this model for several reasons:
– it’s compact but can easily hold all of the items on the above picture (bug repellent, sun screen, deodorant, chop sticks, sunglasses, reduced medicine bag, band aids, reduced wallet)
– its main compartment’s access is oriented towards your back when wearing it correctly, which makes it inaccessible to those who shouldn’t have access to it in the first place.
– it has several smaller compartments for keys, phone,…that can all be closed.
– it has a front pocket for things you want to access easily such as a pen, tickets or a map.

One a side note: no, the flowers don’t fit into the bag and are no holiday necessity. Yes, the sun screen is SPF 50+, I have such a sensitive skin that I need it. Yes, the sun screen is a “kids sun screen spray”, which I chose because it is a lot less sticky than most total sunblock adult sun screens. On top of that, most adult sun screen sprays only go up to SPF 30 which will not do for my skin (which is about as sensitive as that of a red haired baby).

Do you take along a smaller purse when on vacation? If so, which type do you prefer and what do you take along?

Things I Like: en rouge et noir

When I talked about loving all things purple, I also mentioned that I still love all things red when clothes are involved.
In fact, that was an incomplete statement, what I like most about red is that it combines so well with black (a colour that I shouldn’t be wearing anymore according to my colour chart, but also a colour that I’m not willing to give up).
As such a lot of my favourite outfits are studies in red and black.

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In order to make sure the outfits are complete I have several black and red accessories such as shoes, scarfs, earrings, belts, purses and necklaces.

What is your favourite colour combination? And what do you think of combining black and red?

Heavy lifting

I guess I’ve always known, somewhere in the back of my mind, that the bags I usually run around with are too heavy and that this isn’t really a healthy habit, even though I never gave it any conscious thought or really tried to change anything about it.
In order to confront myself into a wake-up call I put my current one on the scales and learned it weighs 1,3 kilo (which all in all is still kinda acceptable). While at it I also checked the contents to see if I could get rid of anything.

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Left to right, back to front:

– a small bag with basic cosmetics and some basic medicines (allergy, headache, stomach trouble,..)
– a foldable shopping bag disguised as a fluffy kiwi (zespri sponsored a Belgian Girl Geek goodie bag earlier this year)
– my deodorant
– some envelopes that will go into the mail later today when I pass by the postal office
– paper towels
– some random paperwork and my colour chart (which you can have a better look at here)
– customer loyalty card holder thingy and business card holder
– a collection of house-, car- and other keys
– a handbag holder (from the Ladies at the movies “Fame” BGGD goodiebag, which I threw out since I don’t ever use it)
my wallet
– my own proper chopsticks, which often get me complimented when I dig them out in an Asian restaurant where they only have the disposable kind (the ones where you risk getting a splinter in your tongue)
– my sunglasses

In order to motivate myself to keep a lean purse and think of my back, shoulders and neck, I went in search of some guidelines and tips on the subject, which I’ll gladly share:

Ideal weight
The ideal weight for a purse stays under a kilo, but anything up to 1,5 kilo is still acceptable (see, I’m not being such a bad student), anything over 2 kilo is definitely to heavy.

Type of bag
If you feel that everything in your over 2 kilo bag should be dragged along, then maybe you should consider switching to a backpack model, which will distribute the weight more evenly.

Straps
When choosing a bag, make sure to look at the type of the straps: thin straps and metal straps will more easily cut into your shoulder muscles whereas a broader strap or straps will once again distribute the weight more evenly.

Posture
Make sure not to cut into your trapezium muscles, but carry your bag more towards the bony part of your shoulder.
Don’t carry a shopper on your elbow, but hold it in your hand to avoid injury.
If you choose to carry a backpack, don’t sling it over just one shoulder but use both straps and make sure it sits high enough on your back (ending at the bottom of your ribcage and not the small of your back).

Content management
The best way to avoid a purse that is too heavy, is by managing what you carry around.
You can do this by having a regular clear out or by regularly switching purses, which usually results in a clear out.
Another way to do it is by choosing a smaller bag, which will prevent you from taking too much along, but for me this only leads to an overstuffed smaller bag and lots of frustration.

Now that I’ve jotted down all of these tips I will try to live by them and maybe even post an update (if I don’t forget).

So, how heavy is your handbag and what do you carry around in it? Have you got any other tips to add to these and do they work for you?

Geeky Friday – The LARP’ing edition

One of the things that made me realise I’m a geeky girl in my own right is my love of LARP‘ing.
In short, it’s a roleplaying game where you physically act out a character. This character can be devised by the organisers to tell the story, set the mood, be the bad/good guy, known as an NPC character. Or you can play a character of your own choice (within the rules of the game) also known as a PC character.

This weekend I attended the 13th event of Chalice as an NPC character (entering this specific world for the first time) accompanied by my second housemate who had been an NPC character in the past, but now entered as a PC character (for the very first time in any specific world or system).

A lot of people I know prefer playing a character of their own device since they can feel it more, to me it doesn’t really matter, since I usually can’t be bothered with the boring details of character creation anyway.
I love the challenge of getting into the skin of the character I’m playing whether it is me or someone else who has written the background.
As such preparing for a role follows much the same pattern:

Making the background story my own
After reading or writing the script I like to make up little memories my character has about its past, things I can refer to.
I also try to imagine which mannerisms and wich typical sayings or facial expressions the character would use.
My character this weekend was a Chancellor to the Emperor of the best know region in this world, sent out on a diplomatic mission accompanied by 6 knights (my housemate being one of them), herself also a former knight in the same order: The Order of the Crown.
I came up with some memories of training and former missions as well as some fond memories of my sister with whom I used to share my line of work.

diplomatic negotiations
diplomatic negotiations

Getting dressed
As the event was a mediaeval high fantasy type of LARP (think LOTR, The Hobbit and the likes) and the role of Chancellor is pretty high-class, I decided on wearing my mediaeval dress from when I still was involved in reenactment over at the Gentsche Gesellen.
The costume actually consists of 3 layers: an off-white undergarment, a blue under-dress (both linen) and a felted wool red overdress. I decided to wear all 3; for warmth, authenticity and because the knights all had a blue detail on their costume: a blue ensign with a yellow crown.

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To convey the feeling of arriving at the festivities after some weeks of traveling I opted for laced up boots (in favour of my mediaeval shoes), a faux fur half cape and leather arm braces (as a wink to my former knighthood and to the dangers of the road).

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The devil is in the details
For many people the creation of a character ends there, but not for me. Once I get the outfit right I start thinking about details such as: purses, jewellery, hairstyle, makeup and perfume.
My mediaeval costume comes with a belt and belt purse that are embellished with little flowers, so I stayed within the floral theme for my jewellery, but I also added a red string purse, just to have a little more room to carry stuff around.
I also kept with the flowers for my perfume with a black currant and rose scented The Body Shop perfume sample.

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For my hairstyle I wanted to keep the middle between “on the road”- sensible and festive, so I went with a double braid on the top of my head going over into a single braid on the back of my head with a flower ornament in it.

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(No, my hair isn’t dyed, it has natural different shades of brown and auburn especially visible when lit up by the sun)

Larp Photography Credits: Annette D’hertefelt