Saturday, March 28, 2015

TRAVEL: Lange Voorhout, Den Haag



On my trip to Europe last year, one of the towns I visited that I completely fell in love with was The Hague, or Den Haag, which is a small city in the Netherlands. Not that I think it's possible to even love Holland even more than I do now, but this town is the one I find myself constantly missing. It was gorgeous, and the people were beyond lovely. This might sound a little over the top, but I do want to live there someday. Or maybe just travel and stay there for a long time. That's how much I loved it.

One of the main reasons I fell in love with Den Haag is this street that they have called the Lange Voorhout. It's actually a street located around the centre of Den Haag, and it is just, wow, what word should I even use? Magical? 




It was literally surreal. The trees were absolutely breathtaking, and the street was so serene and beautiful. Along the sides of the street itself, there was your typical row of pretty Dutch homes, and in a few spots inside the park, there were actually some modern art sculptures (which I sadly didn't get to photograph at that time).



There's really not much to say about this one, so I'm kind of aiming for a more visual post this time. Just, you gotta see it for yourself. No filters were used in the making of this post. I hope the beauty of Lange Voorhout takes your breath away just like how it takes mine away every time I look back at these photos. I just have no words.



And so this ongoing wanderlust continues, in the form of my travel blog posts, and so continues my undying love for Holland as well as my extreme wish to be able to go back. I'm not going back this year, but hopefully next year, or the year after that. I'll definitely come back, I just know it.

Yours truly,
Joanne




Wednesday, March 25, 2015

#WearYellowForSeth



Hey, everyone! I hope you're doing well.

I guess you may or may not have heard about this story that's been going around the Internet. So there's this beautiful five-year-old boy named Seth Lane. Now Seth here is just like any other normal child, except he was born with a severe immune system disorder. This little boy from England was apparently born with something called the severe combined immunodeficiency or the SCID, basically leaving him with no choice but to live in a sterile environment his whole life. Sometimes, it's even called the "bubble boy disease" because any exposure can bring harm to his body.



Seth's first bone marrow transplant was unsuccessful, but recently, his parents made a video and posted it online. A video of him describing a little bit about himself (with written words on some cue cards then him holding them up) and how much he needs our support.

The way to show your support for Seth is to post a picture of you wearing a yellow shirt or outfit on March 27th, which is this Friday. You can post it on Twitter, Instagram, or whatever social media, and include the hashtag #WearYellowForSeth. From there, his parents will pick some photos to print out and hang inside Seth's room, to let him know just how many people are willing to support him, and how many people actually care about him.




I think this is something that totally deserves all the attention it's been getting. This must be really hard for the family as well as little Seth, so my stepsister and I decided to join in this little hashtag.

We basically grabbed the bit of yellow we have from our wardrobes and stepped outside for a little bit with my camera, and took these photos around the house. These are only some of my personal favourites out of my takes. I don't normally have so many pictures of myself taken like this, but it turned out really good and so I decided it was perfect to hopefully be able to show Seth's parents through the hashtag. It was a cool shoot to do, and I'm really glad that we have a chance to do this for a cause, which is to show our support for Seth as well as his family.

I only hope that his parents will notice once I post these pictures on social media, and I wish that they can show it to Seth and I hope Seth can see all the pictures from people all over the world, and hopefully it can strengthen him for when he's having a rough day. Just the idea of making a five-year-old a bit happier just makes me happy too. He is definitely in my thoughts and prayers, and I hope he is in yours.



So this is something that I really urge you guys to do. I decided to post this on my blog before posting it onto any other social media this Friday just so that you guys can know what's been going on, and hopefully you'll join in and show your support for Seth as well!

Have an awesome day!



Sunday, March 22, 2015

SUNDAY INSPIRATION 004: Flared Pants



Hey, guys! This is the second post that I got for you guys which is the fourth post in the Sunday Inspiration series!

I've noticed lately that there's this trend going on around fashion bloggers where they wear 70s-inspired outfits along with the items they're wearing. So of course, that calls for bohemian vibes, fringe, boots, and flared pants! I've actually always loved the idea of flared pants but I think these things, right now, are definitely making their comeback. There's just something exclusively classic and wonderful about them, and you can style them with pretty much anything! It carries a huge fashion statement and it's easy to make it look nice!

I think flared pants mostly come in forms of flared jeans. You can find flared jeans in pretty much any store that sells jeans. I mean we all know that skinny jeans are never going out of style, but it's about time we give flared jeans a little chance!






My dos and don'ts for wearing flared pants would probably be:
  • Do make sure there's a perfect colour and pattern combination on your look. Keep things balanced because flares take up a lot of room, therefore attention. It's easy to go a little too far and make your outfit look like it's a little too much, so keep things simple and let the extravagance go to the bottom of your pants.
  • Don't pair it with sneakers. Please, please, never sneakers with these. Or platforms, or wedges. If it's flared jeans, then wear some nice heels or maybe like a really cool pair of boots. If it's other than jeans (so maybe it's like chiffon or something similar) then sandals can still work. Sneakers would make your legs look a little sluggish and frankly, you'll look like one of those teenagers in the 70s who never brush their hair.
  • Don't over-accessorize. In relation to number one, you don't want to go for too much. A simple handbag or clutch will do just fine. A nice hat would be cool also! But try to go light on things like necklaces and bracelets, the noticeable stuff.
  • Do give it a try and go for a high-waisted look. Maybe buy a nice pair of high-waisted jeans, which you can style with a really nice white shirt or blouse. You know, you might as well emphasize on the pants, so why not? And it'll certainly make your legs look extra longer.
  • Don't wear it with an oversized poncho or kimono or anything similar. In terms of the silhouettes, a poncho or a kimono will definitely be very eye-catching and it will extremely steal some attention. To go big at the top, and big at the bottom would be too dramatic. If you do want to wear flares but you also need layers, go for a neat blazer or a simple cardigan.
What do you think of flared pants? Do you own a pair? How do you like to wear them?
Leave a comment below, and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin to stay tuned to my other posts!



PS: Thoughts in Tiffany Blue now has a brand new Pinterest page! Follow it here!

Friday, March 20, 2015

BOOKS: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins



Hello, everyone!

It's been a while and I've been struggling with coming up with a new post since I have been extremely worn out coming back from my trip, especially with all the school work that follows. But anyway, I'm so excited to finally be doing my second book review, and this time, I'll be reviewing a book by Paula Hawkins called "The Girl on the Train".

So I bought this book a few weeks ago and I was kind of contemplating on whether I should've bought this book or another one I found in the store that day. I am very happy with my decision, you guys. The book is so fascinating and it's terrific. I really enjoyed reading it!




The story is, there's basically a girl named Rachel who's an unemployed, newly-sacked alcoholic and commuter who takes the same train everyday. On her usual route, the train tends to stop briefly at a signal, and from that spot, Rachel always looks out the window into this house near the tracks where a seemingly happy and perfect couple lives. She enjoys looking at how they live and show affection towards each other. And then the book kind of unveils the true story behind this couple ("Jason" and "Jess" is what Rachel calls them) from "Jess"'s point of view. One day, "Jess" suddenly disappears. The plot thickens along the way and it's extremely interesting to follow.  It also shed light into Rachel's rough past (and present condition too). In the end, we realize that everyone's a victim at some point of the story.

I didn't really like, firstly, how the book was constantly jumping from one time setting to another. It was fine, but it did make me a bit bothered with how I must follow through the story. Maybe it's just me, but I find myself going to the previous pages to check which time setting a certain story took place. Other than that, I do like the cover, but I just always feel like the book title on the cover must be as clear and bold as possible. I feel like seeing the cover of this book (with the graphics) makes me pretty dizzy. Such an awesome book should've had a better cover to promote it.



The thing I loved most about this book was actually the plot twist. Actually, there were multiple plot twists, and that just made the book very gripping and fascinating. The first quarter of the book, I felt, was okay, but it literally went better and better from there. I liked how Paula Hawkins dug really deeply into each character, allowing us to understand their reckless "adult" personalities. I felt like she was very insightful in this book. There was a very good amount of mystery, which I loved. I spent so much time guessing and guessing. Literally guys, so much fun to read. To be honest, when the book was described as a "thriller", I had my doubts, but I ended up being very impressed.

Have you read this book? Do you like mystery reads? Have you also been reading some nice books? Tell me all about it in the comments below! I'd love to hear from you today!

From the girl who loves books and mystery and sometimes trains,









Thursday, March 12, 2015

Friendly Reminder, Ladies


  1. You don't have to explain yourself to everyone all the time. If you have an insanely good idea, and you're willing to push forward with faith in yourself, then why not?
  2. Never tell someone they should go on a diet. Never point out someone's acne or whatever physical flaw. Never tell someone they should lose weight, or gain weight. They know. They have inspected every inch of themselves in front of the mirror countless times. They see their flaws clearly and at some point, it hurt them. They do not need you to emphasize on that.
  3. Do not bite your nails. Don't ever skip any medicine. Don't leave your skin dry. Wash your face twice daily, take good care of your skin, and indulge in showers. Drink lots of water and eat well. Buy that Body Shop product if you need it. Your body does need love and affection.
  4. Exercise, eat clean, but don't just do it to "get skinny". You need a healthy body to live in. It is better to be strong, it is always better. A beautiful soul needs a sturdy vessel.
  5. It's okay if you don't like reading. It's okay if you don't play instruments, and it's okay if you're not athletic. It's okay if you're not artistic. It's okay if math isn't your strong point. It's okay to find school tiring. You are human nonetheless. Never apologize for your feelings, and never think you're less of a person just because you don't have it all together.
  6. Honestly, don't let anyone tell you you must or must not do something because "you're a girl." Honey, if anyone tells you that, just give them hell. Never let someone tell you you're weak. Your gender should not become a limitation.
  7. If you're looking for a soulmate, it's gonna take a lot more than a "cute face" and a "sense of humour". There are men to trust, and there are men to avoid. Be wise with your decisions. It's easy to get caught up in love, but please don't ever lose yourself. Don't waste your time being with the guy you know won't even last in your life.
  8. Rest is okay. Watching too many TV shows or spending a whole day in bed, ordering food instead of cooking is okay. Just remember that time is a valuable thing that needs some managing. But if a pillow is your best friend, and you want to spend an hour in the bathroom just for doing your nails, then hell, who's gonna stop you? Make yourself happy. Be at home with yourself.



So ladies, I certainly hope these little friendly reminders from me brought a nice impact on your day and on your way of thinking. I hope reading through this list made you feel better the same way it makes me feel better from time to time. I've kept this list with me for quite a long time now, so I thought it was about time to finally share this with you, especially with Women's Day taking place. I hope it has made you smile and it has given you a little more comfort.

Also, I wanted to let you guys in on a little update: My school just held a one-week trip to a local village just a few hours outside of town, so I'm terribly sorry for the lack of posts! No cellphones allowed, and I did actually schedule some posts, but apparently something must have went wrong because they didn't show. :( But anyway, I hope you have an awesome week!

What did you think of this list? Do leave a comment below!





Monday, March 9, 2015

44 Facts about My Mother

Hello, everyone!

In celebration of my mother's 44th birthday last week on March 5th, I have decided to provide you with a fun list of 44 things about my mother. I really adore my mom and because I lost my dad, often times, I feel like she's the only one I have in this world. She's extremely special to me obviously, and as a mother, she's taught me so much. Over the course of me growing up, we've become a lot closer. She's really becoming more and more of a best friend to me, and I love her so much. I've thought long and hard to fill this  list (even started interviewing here and there) so I hope you find this quite interesting!
  1. She has a big sister and a little sister, so she's the middle child in her family.
  2. She's always had short hair ever since I was born and has never been interested in growing it back.
  3. She owns an arts & crafts store (I wrote a bit about it on this post).
  4. She sometimes wears reading glasses now.
  5. She was very naughty when she was younger.
  6. In reference to number 5, she liked riding her friends'  motorcycles without her parents' permission.
  7. Also regarding number 5, she once waited for a cuckoo clock to start cuckooing and when it didn't, she opened it up forcefully and pulled the wooden bird out herself. She was only a child when she did this.
  8. She has a pretty nice taste in fashion. She dresses stylishly, yet modestly.
  9. She's the ultimate Audrey Hepburn fangirl.
  10. She loves big pieces of jewellery. She always looks for the boldest necklaces, or the most extravagant earrings. Although, she always wears them with simple clothing.
  11. She has an excessive amount of shoes and handbags. (Notice how I said "amount" instead of "number", because you know what that means? Uncountable.)
  12. She's had 3 kids (and I'm the youngest).
  13. She was always a popular girl in school. She had fair skin, she was always a lot taller than her friends, and she was (and is) pretty. A lot of boys liked her, and a lot of girls either wanted to be her best friend, or they just wanted to be her. This information came from her high school friend.
  14. She's still pretty tall now.
  15. She's worked in several companies and held several jobs. She's a true hard worker. She's earned everything that she has right now.
  16. Her favorite type of car is the Range Rover. 
  17. She still dreams of having one.
  18. Her shoe size exceeds every other girl in our family.
  19. This year, she's officially become a grandma.
  20. About last year, my mother had to endure some pain because there was a problem with her backbone. It seemed that her spine kind of shifted to a wrong direction due to too much pressure put on it (like spending all day sitting in her office), and it kind of pressed down on one of the nerve systems located near her spine. She ended up having to take Pilates intensively , and she also had to go swimming quite frequently. Now, things are okay. But she still can't stand still for too long, or pick up (or carry) objects or luggage that are too heavy, or wear heels that are too high.
  21. She loves Europe, especially Paris. She travels there once a year every year for a family business meeting.
  22. Leopard prints make her cringe.
  23. She enjoys wearing shorts and sneakers.
  24. She once wore an impermanent tattoo (of a feather) on the back of her neck.
  25. And one of a butterfly on the back of her shoulder (which led to skin allergies and just a horrible rash).
  26. She has the smoothest skin, like ever. She takes such good care of her body, but her skin is still quite sensitive.
  27. She's written a book and it's now on its way to being published (yay!)
  28. She has an unhealthy obsession for vintage objects, decorations, furnishes, and antiques.
  29. Ribbon embroidery is just, her thing. Really.
  30. She adores batik (it's a type of pattern that originated from my country, it's usually found on fabric and pieces of clothing)
  31. She could be quite a big spender! (Hence, number 11.)
  32. She loves binge watching. I'm talking Criminal Minds, Ghost Whisperer, Revenge, The Mentalist, Chicago Fire, Dexter, and more. This happens because right now, the only work she's ever doing is with her store. She could come in whenever she pleases. I know. I'm jealous too.
  33. She drinks coffee and eats bread every morning.
  34. She loves her kids more than anything.
  35. Her favourite flower is the white rose.
  36. She does not play any musical instrument.
  37. She loves mystery. Mystery games on her iPad, mystery novels, just about everything. She's got a whole shelf filled with Sidney Sheldon, Mary Higgins Clark, and more.
  38. She's a total fan of Pinterest apparently!
  39. The sight of red velvet makes her cringe (what??) and yep, it's because she does not enjoy seeing food that doesn't have an original or real colour. The different colour just makes her not want to eat it. This also goes for the rainbow cake but, come on, who likes that anyway?
  40. She lost both of her front teeth (I'm talking about the real, grown-up, permanent ones) when she was younger. The ones sitting in her mouth now are synthetic.
  41. She likes to buy us things we don't ask for.
  42. She gives amazing life advice. She writes, so she has a very deep understanding of life. She's one hell of a strong Christian woman.
  43. She makes awesome tater tots.
  44. She's literally the best mom I could ever ask for. If I were born again and got to choose which mom I had, I'd still pick her over anyone.
That's all for this post! What are some facts you could list about your mom? Mention a few below, I'd love to read them! I can't wait to share with you more stuff in the future, so stay tuned!




Friday, March 6, 2015

Places in Town: Jamoo Restaurant

For my mom's 44th birthday a few days ago (March 5th), our family decided to go out for dinner. We eventually picked this one restaurant in town that my mom really likes called "Jamoo". The name comes from the actual Indonesian word "jamu", meaning having a meal (usually a meal with a guest).  The restaurant is basically a buffet, all-you-can-eat restaurant located at the Shangri-La hotel, which is just a 20-minute drive from home.

I really loved it there. The food was obviously fantastic, and for some reason, I always love going to the Shangri-La. There's just something about five-star hotels I can't help but admire. Maybe it's the beautiful service, the nice atmosphere, or maybe just how neat and lovely it is. The thing I love the most is the service really. The people are so nice to you, they attend to your needs and treat you very wonderfully. Of course, you're supposed to find this type of service in every five-star hotel, but this one feels pretty special to me.

They really had a wide range of food to choose from. There was a Japanese corner, filled with sushi, sashimi, salmon soup, and you know, just all the good stuff. Aside from that, still inside the appetizers section, there was this salad corner. Basically, it's not an all-you-can-eat dining place without a salad corner, right? So they had fresh lettuce, sweet corn, four types of dressing (including cocktail dressing, french dressing) and they even served this amazing Japanese potato salad! It's just, wow, you had to be there. Other than that, it was mostly just seafood all around (although it wasn't the best seafood because it didn't taste as fresh).

The main course section was terrific as well. They had a noodles station and a pasta station. Also,  for the meat, they specially served duck for the evening, but also had a variety of chicken, beef, and lamb. There was this fish fillet marinated in teriyaki sauce and I swear, it was the best. Not to mention the lasagna! Quite heavenly. (The lighting on the tables were pretty dim also, so I didn't get the chance to document the food I took. Regretting this every second.)

Lastly, desserts. Wonderful. Just, wonderful. They had so many different types of cake to choose from. Banana chiffon, green tea with white chocolate, opera, tiramisu, everything was there. There were also pancakes and ice cream (YAAAASSSS). They also served bread butter pudding! I was firstly really excited when I spotted it because it's one of my favourite things in the world, but it turns out that the pudding that night wasn't as good as usual. It was quite dry and not as soft or moist as how it should've been, which was a total bummer. But still, the chocolate fountains really made up for it.

Other than all of this, they also had juice, bread, soup, and many other things that I didn't manage to take a picture of (mostly because it was quite a crowded evening, and people were already staring) (starting to think like I need to work on my courage so that I could take pictures for my blog every now and then without missing too many important details).

What do you think about buffet restaurants? Do you often to go to one for special occasions? Leave a comment below and I'd love to hear from you.

From the girl who's a total sucker for good food,



PS: I recently found out that I finally reached 75 followers on Bloglovin! I am so happy and excited about this. It's not a whole lot but it's a start and I'm very glad. Thank you thank you thank you.



Wednesday, March 4, 2015

TRAVEL: Castle Street, Berlin

Last year, as I have mentioned a few times earlier, my mom and I took a 2-week trip to Europe. We visited France, Holland, Italy, and Germany. Quite recently, I finally managed to gather all the photos I took from the trip and stuff them into my laptop's iPhoto (and it was no easy task, trust me). I decided to share all these travel photos inside my blog so I'm very excited to start sharing my stories from my trip with you guys.

This time, I specifically wanted to show you guys these pictures I took while we were walking along the  Schloßstraße (pronounced: schlossstrasse), a street which I'm quite sure is located around the southwest area of Berlin, Germany. So "Schloßstraße" itself literally translates into "Castle Street". This is actually because the road kind of starts off from the Charlottenburg Palace (I'll write a post for more about this some time later). Basically, it's this really lovely and pretty street lined with mostly houses, flower shops, and antique stores. I totally loved it, it was a peaceful area, really pretty and just a nice atmosphere.


There was this statue of a seemingly heroic man right in front of the Charlottenburg Palace, but I didn't really know much about it. Because we were there alone with no tour guide, and there was no written explanation anywhere near the statue (none that we could read, anyway), so I assumed it was just... there. Like a guard of the castle or something. I felt like it had some quite historic meaning, so I actually found myself standing in front of and staring at him. It felt kind of like a sign of me respecting him for whatever it is that he did.

The houses were actually quite fascinating as well. Like there was this yellow house with a really really nice door. So I took a picture of that. Not creepy. And then in some houses, you would see these little flowers bloom in their front yard. There wasn't any garden of roses or anything like that, but we would frequently see flower pots arranged nicely on the balconies, or sometimes smaller ones would just be sitting there behind the fences.



I found the houses quite pretty, because back at home is really nothing like this. I've always admired Germany for their architecture, and so looking at these buildings were quite fascinating. In the middle picture, you could actually see an old-fashioned, classic looking house right next to a modern, new and minimalistic one.




In my trip to Europe, I was really quite fascinated by all the people around me. I didn't know them but I thought wow, they all have different stories and here I am, kind of jumping into their world for a little bit. 

The picture of that couple, now that was actually a really adorable sight to see. They were actually just standing there, watching their dog kind of play around in the grass. It was really such a nice and simple moment, too lovely not to capture anyway. They didn't notice me taking their picture, but I really tried not to look creepy or stalker-ish while doing it (haha). Really, I did.

And as I mentioned earlier, that's just the picture of the flower shop that was located there. It was called "Blumen" which literally just means "flowers" in German. I passed by this shop and a bunch of other shops down the road and realised that they had the loveliest flowers ever.



I really adored this little sign on one of the flower shops. It was just put up there behind these pots of tiny roses. I thought that was just way too pretty. I really fell in love with all the flowers they had, with all these radiant colours coming to life. It certainly inspired me.



These were just the roads that led to the other directions. Right across the intersection, there was this larger building with a purpose I didn't know of. But anyway, I still really liked looking down the streets ahead as well as looking at the buildings like these. The architecture, the long wide roads, Berlin really had a strong vibe about it. It was cold and cloudy but it really was quite a lovely day.

Have you been to Berlin? How was it for you?
Leave a comment below, I'd love to hear more about it Stay tuned for more.

Yours truly,
Joanne