Saturday, 9 December 2017

a weekend in the jungle

Last weekend Andreas and I explored "the other part" of Brunei, the part that is divided from the main part by a small strip of Malaysia. This part consists mostly of rain forest and especially of the Temburong national park. To get there we first had to go to the capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, where we were picked up, taken to a jetty where a speed boat "bus" took us to the small town Bangar. There the next mode of transportation waited for us - a van - that drove of for about half an hour to the Temburong river. Here we got in to a traditional long-boat (but with a motor) and driven for half an hour to the Ulu Ulu resort where we were staying.



We had a pretty good weekend, I must say. The rain forest is a weird, beautiful and terrifying place. The whole experience where colored by the fact that we - on our very first nature walk - ran in to a 6 meter python, while walking in a river. If we had had a more experienced guide this encounter might not have turned into so much of an ordeal, but as we pretty much stumbled in to mr Snake (it as two meters away from us, slithering over a rock in the small waterfall we were walking up) our guide stopped, yelled "snake" and "go" and I panicked. Pretty much. So I turned, slid down the little waterfall on my but, dragging Andreas with me and hit my knee when landing. And then I was pretty shaky and just wanted to get out of there. So, well, that put a bit of a damper on the trip. 




The rest of the weekend was way calmer, and we had some real fun, going tubing along the river, kayaing and hiking up a smaller river to a little waterfall where fish nibbled on our feet. We saw hornbills, butterflies and fruitbats and mostly just enjoyed ourselves being in the jungle. I still feel a bit stressed when walking in the jungle, but at least now I have my first snake encounter...



Friday, 8 December 2017

my christmas wishlist

People! Its only 16 days left until Christmas! High time for me to publish this years wishlist, to make sure that I'll get any gifts this year... And maybe to inspire someone else?

Here goes:


  1. bed-set from h&m home
  2. another bed-set from h&m home
  3. Wonder Woman on DVD
  4. any of Simon Stålenhags art books
  5. nail polish, pinks and neutrals, please
  6. new wristband for my watch
  7. headphones, these are pretty
  8. light pad for tracing sketches
  9. season 1 of Westworld on dvd
  10. wall planter from Lagerhaus
  11. big, sparkly and pink earrings
  12. wide, green trousers from h&m
  13. overnight-bag from Ted Baker
  14. wall hung candle holder



Wednesday, 6 December 2017

looking for new glasses

I need new glasses. Not so much because I don't like the ones I have, but because they are losing the protective coating, leaving them scratched and cloudy. It's caused by a fault in the production, so it's not me being reckless, btw! Very annoying. I need a new pair, ASAP, and just to make things simple I'm buying a pair from extraoptical.se (not sponsored) where I've bough glasses before. It really is a gamble when it comes to fit - and in some ways also function - but as the glasses comes pretty cheap I'm willing to gamble every now and again. I will probably try to find an optician here in Brunei soon, but until then this will have to suffice. 

Here are the ones I've been looking at this time.


  1. Maccles, retro style, similar to a pair I already have, but with an old prescription
  2. Barnsley, I've never had a pair as round and speckled as these, might be fun
  3. Artesia, classic black ones, feels like a safe bet, but might feel too dark for summer climate
  4. Barnsley, same as 2 but black. Safer, but again, maybe too dark
  5. Scarbor, rounded and two-colored, I've never had anything like this
  6. Kerman, more square, similar to ones I've had before
  7. Sweetn, big, black and square. I'm used to this. But dark...

I've seen a lot of pretty ladies wearing very big, round frames, but I'm guessing it's not really the glasses but the faces they are placed on that results in the prettiness... I'm currently very bored with the lack of contrast in my face, which becomes even more apparent as I so rarely put makeup on, this might be why I'm drawn to bigger, darker frames again. Even though I know it might not feel right for the climate and how I dress for it here... While I'm waiting to decide which pair to actually buy, let's have a look at my previous eye-wear-styles. Nostalgic...






these are actually not mine, but Alison's, but I wonder if I could ever pull off a cat-eyed style...

Monday, 4 December 2017

a monday in december

Good morning! I've been out of sync with blogging lately. Every time I've sat down in front of the computer I've had other more pressing things to do, and the updates I do on Instagram (my name there is holly_hawkeyes just fyi) feel like they cover most of what goes on in my life anyway. And as I  think most of you who read this follows me on Insta too, I don't want to repeat too much. But. Now I've had two large cups of coffee and am riding the lovely vibrating energy that comes with it, so why not use that for a blog post!



The best way to start a new week is to get an overview of what's to come, so here's my schedule for the next 7 days (just writing this list makes me feel so productive!):

Monday
Due to a little ...eh ...accident over the weekend I wont be doing any physical activities today, but let my blue knee rest another day. But that's all well and good as I have plenty to do anyway. I have a course assignment due tomorrow - further developing a brand profile that I began with a few weeks ago, this time with a color scheme, typography and patterns. Fun! I'm also working on a logotype for my friend Tuulikki, and I have to find a suitable script-font for her. Other than that I'm going to try to finish this years photo-book so I can send it off to be printed ASAP. I'm also planning to buy some Christmas gifts (online) and a new pair of glasses for me (also online, always a gamble).

Tuesday
I'll spend this day mostly on course work and handing in the above mentioned assignment. I also want to try out my new watercolor pencils that I bought last week, hopefully I have an hour or two to just sit and sketch with them. I'll try swimming tomorrow evening, I'm pretty sure me knee will like that.

Wednesday
The big meeting day! And the big "I'm an expat housewife"-day, too... The morning starts with the final monthly meeting of the year with my team from Outpost, the expat organization I'm part of. After that I have another meeting, with the Arts & Craft section of the local social club, I'm pitching an idea that involves me hosting a couple of workshops together with them next year. We'll see what they think. I hope to spend the afternoon working on an application letter for a course I want to take next year.

Thursday
Another meeting in the morning, this time with the architects that will hopefully do the work in the remodeling project I've mentioned before. After that I have a year-end-lunch with Outpost and then I'm done with all of the activities involving other people for the week. So nice... I know it's important and good for me to meet people, practice being a grown up and work in the real world for a bit, but how I just love hanging out in my own office just working on my own stuff... Anyway. Hopefully my knee is back to its normal shape and color by today so I can go work out with my friends Rachel and Morgane.

Friday
I set aside Fridays for architecture related work, and I have a few things on my list - like finding a Revit course for next year and updating the drawings for my brothers summer house, so I guess I'll be doing that, if nothing else comes up. In the evening I'll either go to the gym with Andreas, or we'll go to the boot camp workout at the crossfit box.

Saturday
No plans. Maybe go to the movies with Andreas and eat dinner out.

Sunday
My new friend Valerie is hosing a watercolor workshop at the Arts & Craft section I mentioned above, and I'm taking part in it! I'm really looking forward to this, as watercolor is my weakest media and I'd love some useful tips and inspiration.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

things I think about today


I want to cut or color my hair. But how? Nothing too complicated. 
And not short, that will end up being too sweaty. Also, no bangs, for the same reason :(

I'm currently working on this year's photo-book and we have taken too many photos
But I'm still glad I'm doing this so at least some of them ends up being useful. 
A lot of work though

Today two meetings that I had in my calendar got rescheduled. 
People, check your calendar before booking a meeting! 
And realize that if you cancel or reschedule you are going to make
 the people involved feel like you are not prioritizing them

Should I even continue blogging? It feels like Instagram is just so much more accessible and relaxed.
Although I like this place too.

What should I name my company?! If I ever decide to start one (freelance designer) 
I want a catchy name

All of a sudden, because of reasons, it seems I will only take one course next year. 
If I don't apply for a course via a private school, that is. Which I am considering

It's not possible to get in to any kind of Christmas feeling when you live a 
billion miles away from your family, cold weather or all of the traditions you are used to. 
December begins in a few days? You have to be kidding me

Sorry for a very negative post today. I'm cranky and for some reason a bit sad. 
Probably homesick. 

Monday, 20 November 2017

last week in OOTDs

Hey peeps, it's a new week! I have a reasonably normal week ahead of me: I'll attend a few meetings, workout a bit and then mostly work on my various projects. I'll try to write a few blog posts too, but lately I've been a little uninspired, so we'll see. 

Here's what i did last week, told with outfit photos taken in our hallway mirror:

Skirt and top: h&m, cardigan: asos
On Monday I began the day with a meeting and spent the rest of the day catching up with my courses and watching video lectures. 

t-shirt: Muji, trousers: h&m. cup: orla kiely
Tuesday was spent at home, I only left the house to go swimming in the evening. I got some course work done and plenty sketching and drawing!

top: åhléns, trousers: uniqlo, earrings: lindex
On Thursday I was a bit low and tired after a night where the cats didn't want to sleep. I had a project meeting before lunch and then I did laundry and studied. 

top: monki, trousers: warehouse
When Andreas came home from work on Friday we drove over the border to Malaysia, to spend the weekend at Marriott hotel and attending the Kuala Belait Scottish Society's St Andrew's ball!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

the past week

So I have been traveling again. My brother and his partner visited us so we first spent some time together here in Brunei, then we went to a rain-forest resort near Lambir national park in Miri (about 2 hours away from here by car) and finally I went with them to Hua Hin in Thailand for a few days. So that's why it's been a bit quiet here, lately.

As usual, I'm not a huge fan of writing travel-posts, but here are a few photos to summarize the highlights of the past week.

the mosque in central Bandar Seri Begawan (capital of Brunei)

Raniforest waterfall in Malaysian nature reserve

Our hotel in Hua Hin, Thailand. 

Caves with hidden buddah statues, Thailand

Palace an hour away from Hua Hin

Palace in Thailand
Trainstation in Hua Hin

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

a corner



it's almost always a bit dark in our bedroom. We have big windows but the curtains are always drawn, they function as wallpaper and privacy screen. Plus our roof has massive overhang so even though we have plenty of windows in all rooms, the sunlight only reaches the rooms in the mornings and afternoons. It's ok though, I don't mind.

What's more than ok is that I finally hung the beautiful print by Vee Speers that my mum gave me as a belated birthday gift when I was in Sweden this summer and we visited Fotografiska together. It's perfect.

Monday, 6 November 2017

I bought stuff

So it seems I will fail my "no shopping for 90 days in a row" goal for 2017.

Here are a few items that I could pick up from the post office here in Brunei, two weeks after I ordered them from ASOS. The themes are a continuing fascination for tropicana patterns and an attempt on adding a bit more pink to my otherwise so black, blue and green closet. So, how did they all fit?


I was already a bit skeptical about the green of this skirt from Warehouse, and it ended up being maybe five shades more bright (neon) green than I thought from the photos online, but hey, there are pretty tigers and trees on it, sooo... I have already cut off ca 4 inches from the length you see in this photo since it was way too long, but the fabric is nice and light and the fit in the waist perfect.


This knee length caftan from Monki was really hard to shoot but it's pretty, trust me. Beige palm leaf print on a thin (not super comfortable) fabric. It has a few buttons in the front so it can be worn as a cardigan or some kind of  dress is you wear tights and a top under.


I'm packing both of the next two pieces for my Thailand trip... I use thin open cardigans a lot here, it's great to wear indoors over a dress when the air is cool from the AC. The dress is a bit shapeless in the upper body and looks better with a belt, but I do love the print. 


Another pink little thing! I wore this last week on our team building day and it was quite comfortable, except the fabric got a bit clammy when it got hot. But it has a nice fit in the body and lovely butterfly sleeves that feels like the perfect style for when you want to dress modest enough for a Muslim country but airy enough for a tropic country. 


Wednesday, 1 November 2017

october resolution check

Hi November! The months pass by here in Brunei without much difference. Well, it's been raining a lot in October, but otherwise it's been same old, same old. One way for me to mark the passage of time is to look back on the month that was and see how I have done with my long lists of goals for 2017. So, here's how I did during October:


  • Start scuba diving again
    still no news here. Meh. :(
  • Become a person that runs
    Since the 1st of October I've been running 4 times. Not too bad!
  • Paint my fingernails with fun designs more often
    Getting better here, best of this months was my Dalmatian nails matching my top one day. 
  • Try galloping at least once
    I've started doing this slowly but surely, even though my last two lessons have been less than satisfactory from my part. But I now consider this item as completed!
  • "Read" five of my architect-books
    I have read 1/4 of one and 1/3 of another...
  • Go 90 days straight without shopping clothes
    It's been a few weeks since I bought anything now, but I don't think I'll manage 90. There isn't even 90 days left of this year... :(
  • Eat vegetarian at least two days per week
    11 of 31 days in October was vego-days!
  • Post three blog posts per week
    This month has been so-so here on the blog. 1-3 posts per week, ok but not what I want.
  • Complete at least one project for my portfolio
    Nope. But at least I'm trying to get a better overview of what I want to do, plus updated my software... 
  • Take 90 kg in dead-lift and 60 kg in deep squats
    Two new PB's this month! Not in dead-lifts, but in squats (55 kg) and 52,5 kg in bench, closing in! Weird that those two are so close...