December 31, 2014

Highlights from 2014

Last year, around this time, Google+ blessed their users with a video consisting of the highlights of our year. I very much liked mine, which you can see in THIS post. However, it seems we are not as lucky this year... or perhaps the dear Google+ elves have been too busy. Who knows?

Luckily, Facebook introduced their new Year-in-review feature, which received very mixed responses. Usually, I'm all up for these kinds of nostalgic moments around New Year when we look back at the year that is about to end. But this year, I could have done better without it. There were simply pictures that I would have liked to avoid seeing again as the memories associated with all of them but 2-3 made me cringe or dislike people around me seriously reconsider the people I surround myself with.

So with the failed Year-in-review and the missing movie from Google+, I have decided to make
my own year in review
consisting of actual highlights to reminds myself that 2014 wasn't entirely bad!
Let's take a look, shall we?

2014 was the year that I got into cosplaying.. or at least started to. I only have two costumes by now but hey.. it's something! And it all started with the Misty costume I made for the big ball at my school (further explanations and pictures HERE) in March.
Although I spent a long time working on it, I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined the insane amount of positive feedback that I got. All the second graders were dressed up but twice, random people came up to me and asked for a picture. I have never heard that happen before o.O 
In September, on our trip to Spain (which I'm not going to talk about here. That was not a highlight), my classmate Kristian told me that some of his friends had asked him if he knew 'that Misty from the ball' because they liked her/my costume. #MuchProud

May brought me great happiness as well!
In the beginning of the month, I went to my very first k-pop concert! The group performing was B.A.P (my favorite!!) and they performed in Düsseldorf, Germany.
It was not only my first k-pop concert but also the first time I ever met up with other fans. I got on the train in the middle of the night and spent the next 60 hours with two girls, the mother to one of them, and a friend of hers. All of whom I had never met in real life before. The trip there itself was absolutely amazing but the girls made it so much better. I don't think I have ever felt so loved by people I had only just met... and the concert.. WOAH! There are too many things for me to talk about so if you want to read about it and see more pictures, go HERE. This was definitely one of my top 3 memories from 2014!

The same month, both my cousin, Cecilie, and my younger siblings had their 'Konfirmation' (more about that HERE), which is a really big thing for Scandinavians!
At that party, we finally re-met our cousins and parts of our family that we hadn't seen for years. There were some cousins that my siblings had never even met :OO
They grow up so fast *wipes fictional tear*

Due to my year of exchange, I'm a year behind... but that didn't stop the rest of my class from getting their "caps" and graduating in June.
On the day of graduation, I went downtown with my grandma to watch the seniors celebrate.

Since I was getting into cosplay and finally had a proper costume, a photoshoot seemed fitting and when I was offered one, heck no I'd turn it down! It was my first time shooting in a costume and with an actual theme so I was quite nervous. There are a lot of things I could have done better but the photographer was very skilled and I was okay satisfied with the pictures.

The photographer was nice and it was his first time doing a cosplay shoot as well. When we parted, he said that I should feel free to come back and have shoot in my future costumes so I'm definitely going to keep that in mind.
I went on a few more (alternative) photoshoots this year to build up my portfolio and was even contacted by a British agency but had to turn them down due to my busy schedule with school. Oh well, there's always next year.. At least I got to get a little experience and made some contacts here and there.

Only ten days after the cosplay shoot, Maria and I were off the France! Prior to our trip, we had grown a bit closer but our bonds were eternally strengthened that week. We made SO so many good memories, which I scribbled down in these picture obese posts: DAY 1DAY 2DAY 3DAY 4DAY 5DAY 6DAY 7.
We had an absolutely amazing week together in Paris and both realized our wish of visiting Disneyland.Because of this year's success, we decided to make it an annual thing and we are already saving up for our 2015 summer trip! That was the first time for both of us to go abroad without parents involved. Definitely also one of my top 3 memories from 2014.

In the last month of summer, I went to the 2nd largest anime convention in Denmark - Genki. 
Supposedly, I was going with a friend I made at my first ever convention back in 2012 but she had to bail out in the last minute because she had moved out and now wasn't able to afford the ticket anymore. I talked to a good friend of mine and in the end he convinced me to go alone (read about that HERE).

At first, I was alone and awkward since I was basically walking around by myself but when we lined up for the opening show, I fell into conversation with 3 girls whom I ended up spending the rest of the weekend with. It was also at that con I met the Danish blogger/osu player Chrille whom I had been following for some time.
Although I look extremely evil (and the sun is making my head look extra narrow), I was super happy that he took this picture!

Because of the friends I made at Genki, a smaller con named KoyoCon was suddenly brought to my attention and I attended that one as well; this time as a gopher and, once again, alone but this time with much more confidence.
I haven't found the pictures taken of me yet except for this awkward one taken in bad light and with an iPhone by my friend, Mephistooo~

So yes, I met many new people and made many great new friends this year! 
One of them was Ashley from Singapore. By the end of fall / early winter, he had a trip to Iceland planned out and stopped by Denmark for 4 days to hang out with me and my family and see our country. We had so much fun together and I really enjoyed being a "guide" for him. You can read about our adventures together and see more pictures HERE.

Ashley was really into photography and ended up making a movie from his trip. You can find it on Youtube HERE.

In December, Maria, I, and a new friend I had made from piano lessons, Jasmin, went to a concert with a Japanese rock band called One OK Rock, which I had been introduced to back in August. After the B.A.P concert I was feeling adventurous and decided to go even before I knew that Maria and Jasmin would join.
The band was just as great as I had expected (and my expectations were high!!) and they performed so well and looked so happy all the time.
We had an absolutely amazing time (I should probably blog about this next year once I get the pictures) and, although I was pretty shocked earlier during the year when my counselor told me I could get into my dream studies next year (read HERE), the fact that the singer from the band followed me on Instagram was the most mind blowing event of the year.
Woooooaaaah!! *-* I fangirled for like... a week after because of this!

The last big happening was when the seniors, now my classmates and I, turned in our SRPs. Although I had a horrible time back when we were still working on them (a post about that HERE), it truly is a highlight for me to have gotten through it alive and it makes me so super happy to know that I will NEVER HAVE TO WRITE THAT FREAKING THING AGAIN!! WUUUUH!!!
And this marks the end of my list, thank you for reading ♡

When I started this post yesterday, I was feeling quite disappointed with my year. But as I worked my way through this it, sat down, and looked through my old pictures, I realized that 2014 hadn't been that bad at all.

With the medias constantly showing negative images from all around the world (because that's what sells) it is important to sometimes take a step back and look at things as a whole. If we don't do that, we tend to follow the medias and focus only on the negative things that happen to us and, thus, forget all the good memories we have made.

If you're feeling like I felt yesterday, do the same. Find your old pictures - the good ones! Think of all the amazing things you did this year. Think of how amazing YOU are, because you truly are! You made it through the year! Think of all the people whose paths crossed yours, even if it was just for a moment, and appreciate it.
Be happy! And if there are things that you still regret, remember life isn't over. You still have time to make up for your mistakes and learn from bad experiences. This is your chance to make 2015 even better than this year so do your best!

I'll leave you with an inspirational quote. Take good care of yourselves! I hope to see you all next year~


December 28, 2014

A guest from Singapore!

Before we began writing the SRPs, I had my Singaporean friend, Ashley, visit us before he would further his adventures in Iceland. I can't recall all the things we did in details anymore so instead I'm just going to show you some of the pictures that we took. Also, thank you, Ashley, for letting me use your pictures too! 

November 27th:
We picked him up at the train station and along the coast to see Mennesket ved Havet / De fire hvide mænd (the four white men), which are the symbols of my city, before going home for nachos.
According to Ash, nachos are mostly something you eat when you go out since it isn't that common to have an oven at home in Singapore. Interesting.
Outside our house we have our caravan that my mom had prepared for him to stay in. There was around 4°C the whole week so the caravan was a nice place for him to go when the weather would get too cold.
That day we also exchanged presents. He'd decided that I HAD to get a present since I had been helping him out getting train tickets and finding a place to stay and whatnot so I had asked him to get me something "traditional Singaporean" and in return I decided to give him something typically Danish too since I didn't want to be the only one getting a present.
We got him a Danish flag and this little Hoptimist. The names is an abbreviation of the word optimist and the Danish word "hop" meaning jump - because it bounces when you touch the top of its head. Danes are crazy about brand decorations and will pay unbelievable amounts of money to get the figures they like - hoptimists are one kind of these decorations. They come in all sorts of variations (kind of like the cow parades some years ago) but I decided he should have the one with the Danish flag on it so he would never forget where he got it from.

As my "traditional Singaporean" gift, Ashley had gotten me this stunning wall scroll made of teeny weeny bamboo sticks. I feel so at peace when I look at it~

He also got me a pack of surgical masks - which was perfect because I had been sick the days leading up to him coming to visit.
Oh! He also brought a bunch of different ramen and this prawn chilli. I found it extremely disgusting! ...and the smell... pheeeew!
Playing games with my brother~
In the evening we watched Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi) since I had never watched it and Ashley insisted it was a must-watch-before-you-die. It was pretty good though! The drawing style was quite different from the animes I watch (I know that there is a difference between movies and animes but I hope you get the point), and I was about to die when the witch, Yubaba, "transformed" into a bird and flew around.
Look!!! Her nose is so big that even though she's not even in the frame, you can still see it! 

November 28th:
Friday I took him to the local supermarket so he could buy cream cheese with ham (he really took a liking to that stuff!) and on our way home he snapped this picture. I really like the colours in it~
Before we went out, he also took this, which I like too.
Afterwards, I showed him around our "mall" Esbjerg Storcenter (" " because it's nothing like a mall. It's tiny compared to the American malls).

At first we went to a store called Søstrene Grene of Denmark where Ash bought a little Danish flag. After that, we went over to Maria (she works in one of the shoe stores). It was pretty crowded so she didn't have much time to chat but she told us that she had just seen Santa(!!). Ashley had earlier told me that they also have people dressing up as Santa in Singapore but that never looks real because... Santa isn't asian. So being the little kid I am I insisted that we go say hi! I also wanted to make sure we could get a picture of him and Ash so he could show all of his friends what the "real" Santa looks like.
Ash seemed pretty awkward at first but loosened up when Santa told him how he'd gone to Hong Kong last year and actually spoke a little Chinese.
Of course I had to go and hug Santa first before I could get Ashley to do it...
But it's okay because WOOOOOH SANTA! 

After the mall, I dragged Ashley to Torvet, which is pretty much the place that connects the rest of downtown. We met up with my little brother and his friend and went to the Christmas market and saw a man making ice sculptures before splitting up again.
Each year, an artificial ice skating rink with a huge Christmas tree in one of the ends is put up in the middle of Torvet and around the beginning of Christmas, people gather to light it up.
On the chosen date, which happened to be that Friday, Santa comes to our harbor with the Christmas ship and will be picked up by people from our city. Then he and the Christmas orchestra will walk through downtown and ultimately end up at Torvet where Santa will entertain the young hearts.
After we have sung a couple of songs, Santa will ask the kids to scream in the direction of the tree in order to gather enough energy to "wake it up". 

 Ashley learned how to dance to these two songs (although I can't find a video of the actual first dance) and they even had us dance 강남스타일 (Gangnam style)! Talk about globalization! 
The tree was lit and and we went back home because Ashley was freezing. Poor Singaporean.. I admit it was a little chilly though. My face looks a bit purple in this picture that we took right after. 
Another selfie because we could. Ashley kept complaining about how the wind screwed up his hair. Well, welcome to Esbjerg - probably the most windy city in Denmark. 

November 29th:
Saturday we had a "photoshoot". Ashley had earlier seen the make-up I did for my Maleficent inspired look and back then I promised him that he could take pictures of it one day. I haven't done that look since back then so it took me a while to achieve it and while I was working on it, Ashley snuck around like some ninja photographer, catching my most glorious moments.

While I finished up, my dad and brother took Ash to our stadium, which is said to be the prettiest in Denmark (it was tiiiiiny compared to the one they have in Singapore though...)
My grandparents came over in the afternoon to have nachos (we don't eat it THAT often, okay?!)

 Oh those dear grandparents of mine <3
...and my mom

While fooling around with our cameras, we came across a problem: His racist camera makes me look like I could blend with the walls and my equally mean camera made his face look huuuuuge. 
In the evening I went to Julefrokost (an event around Christmas time where families, friends, or colleagues come together to eat traditional food) with The Ladies / Tea Club (=Mette (who wasn't there), Monika, Maria, and Karoline) and Ashley spent the evening chilling with my parents and editing the pictures we took.
This was the final result: (I'm pretty satisfied with it!)
Monika was the host and she had made some delicious food that I'm sure Ash would have loved. 

We played a game, typical for Julefrokoster, where everyone brings one or more presents and then we throw a dice to see who wins the most before the time is up. Somebody had bought a pack of fake moustaches and... that's pretty much how the rest of the night went on.

November 30th:
The last day he was here, Maria and I took him out for dinner at our favorite restaurant Asia Restaurant.
Maria got that brilliant idea that we bought him presents now that it was Christmas and since we wanted him to have something he could look at in the future and think back to this moment. I forgot what exactly we bought but I remember there were marshmallow Santas and a chocolate calendar.
He was really happy! But... apparently opening presents in front of people is rude in Singapore so we spent some good 5 minutes talking before Maria told him to open them in front of us - which is normal here so we can see peoples' reactions. Cultural difference right there~
Since Ash already had his camera ready, he snapped some really "attractive" eating pictures of us...
I don't know what my face was doing..
Maria looked pretty cute though! Ashley kept bugging her about how she used the chopsticks wrong and here is his proof!
Ha! Don't think you can snap a picture of me eating without me taking revenge!

After we got back home, Ashley packed and I helped him as much as I could. Let's be honest, I was pretty worthless. And after that we watched a movie called "おくりびと" (Departures). It was actually pretty interesting although I found it hard to understand sometimes because the Danish culture is VERY different from the Japanese when it comes to death.
Sleepy moustache faces wuhuu!~

The next day, we drove Ash to the train station early in the morning and thus his adventures in Denmark came to an end. It was so much fun showing him around our little city and he really seemed at home. 

A few days after he'd left, Ashley had put together this video with some of his best moments - it's worth a watch!
In Danish we have a word called "hygge", which, no matter how hard you try, cannot be translated into English. Cozy would be the word that comes closest but.. hygge is more of a nice feeling. Imagine sitting on the couch, covered by a blanket, watching one of your favorite movies with the ones you hold most dear while the candle lights are flickering - THAT is hygge. Or you could just watch this video because I think that's the closest somebody has ever been to describing it without using words. 
Also, if you'd like to see the video he made from clips from Iceland, click HERE.

So Ashley!
We all enjoyed having you here~ Come back whenever you like. Our home is open :)