Wednesday, 25 April 2018

work in progress

Sometimes you just have to start somewhere to get something done. Most things can be revised and updated if needed, very few things are set in stone. That's how I have started to think about my plans for starting a business! I still have many questions, like for example if I should register my firm in both Norway and Sweden, the two places where I'm most likely to have clients, or if I should stick to just one. Anyway. This might all come as a bit of a surprise - me talking of starting my own business - but it's not at serious as it sounds. It's just that I want to make as much preparations as possible for when the time comes for me to start working again, for real, and as my time here so far has made me realize that working as a freelance designer is kind of my dream I want to do whatever I can to make that reality. My super-duper soft launch of this "business" was when I created my second Instagram account - @naikas_sketchbook with the user name Studio Naika, and now I decided to just go for it and buy the domain and create a custom work email. I still wont take commissions or try to get any clients, I want to be way more prepared, have a business plan and so on, but I was afraid I would miss out on the domain name, and as I struggled really bad to come up with a name I felt I had to go for it.

The name is nothing fancy, just me switching place of the first two letters of my name and removing an N. But there you go. Hopefully I can get back to you with more updates on this in the next few months or so. 

Sunday, 22 April 2018

sunday randomness

Good evening blog.

I'm back in Brunei after my trip to Vietnam, where I got to hang out with my dad and spent a lot of time just reading books at various cafés and restaurant. We've had time to walk around Ho Chi Minh City and Hué for hours and I discussed my plans for the future with him. Now I'm done traveling for a while, and that feels pretty good!

Yesterday we went on a very cloudy "sunset cruise" together with a big bunch of fun people. One of my good friends here in Brunei will go to Huston for a year and this was her official farewell party. Being an expat means a lot of things - one of them saying goodbye to your friends quite often, as people move on to other countries. It's sad, but it also mean having friends all over the world.

Today has been a lazy day with a loooong morning in bed and then not much else except reading books, watching Netflix and doing a little bit of course work. I handed in the 6th assignment in my illustration course at Berghs School of Communication and also my mid-term evaluation. I'm actually sad we are already halfway done with this course - it's been a pure pleasure and I feel I know a lot better now what I'm good at and what I need to work more on when it comes to illustration.

Pretty soon I'll pick up Andreas from work and we'll go do our weekly grocery shopping and then there's not much else I plan to do today except have dinner and watch a movie. I hope all of you have had a nice and slow Sunday too!

Friday, 20 April 2018

more things I want to wear right now

I had so much fun creating digital outfits last week I decided to put together a few more... Focus on big bold prints and comfort! This time there  might be a few more party outfits, but also just things I'd like to lounge around in on the balcony. And no, I'm not sponsored and these are not affiliated links, just me spending a bit of time browsing various web-shops. 

Dress - Asos
Bag - Asos
Shoes - Asos

Trousers - Lindex
Top - Zara
Shoes - Asos

Dress - Asos
Belt - Asos
Shoes - Asos

Shirt - h&m
Trousers - Warehouse
Shoes - h&m

Shirt - Monki
Shorts - h&m
Sandals - Asos

Top - h&m
Trousers - Monki
Shoes - Asos

Shirt - Asos
Shorts - Asos
Shoes - Asos

Dress - Asos
Earrings - Asos
Shoes - Asos

Monday, 16 April 2018

Live blogging from Vietnam


As I’m writing this post I’m sitting on the balcony of a cafe and bar in the town Huê, right in the middle of Vietnam. 
This is my view:

I’m here with my dad. He gave me this book as an early birthday gift, perfect as I already finished the other book I brought! 

We have already spent two days in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and will be here in Huê until tomorrow night when we return to HCMC for a couple of days before going our separate wats home. The reason for going to Huê, a town I’ve never heard of, was that dad wanted to see the old imperial city. Huê used to be the capitol when the country united back in the 1800s. 

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

what I want to be wearing right now

Hello there!
This week I've spent plenty of time browsing online-shops to come up with ideas for my whishlist. My birthday isn't until mid May, but it's smart to be well prepared, right... I also find that putting together these little collages of outfits that I like helps getting rid of some of my shopping urges, which I believe to be a good thing. Anyway. Right now I feel like wearing plenty of colors in combinations I usually don't go for, and become a bit more brave when it comes to mix patterns. I'm inspired by Christin over at the blog Midi, a girl who know exactly how to do this! What I'm looking for now is outfits for everyday life here, to wear while working from home, when going to meetings or when hanging out with friends in the weekends. 

Dress - Monki
Sandals - Monki

Dress - Y.A.S.
Bag - Suncoo
Shoes - Suncoo

Dress - Monki
Earrings - Asos
Shoes - Asos

Dress - Lindex
Earrings - COS
Shoes - h&m

Jumpsui - Warehouse
Shoes - h&m

T-shirt - Lindex
Earrings - Lindex
Trousers - Monki

Dress - Asos
Bag - Asos
Shoes - Asos

Trousers - Asos
T-shirt - Monki
Soes - h&m

I'm still really much in to big bold patterns, either florals or abstract, geometric shapes and funny details. When it comes to shoes I'm looking for comfy but fun flats, and a pair of statement earrings is never the wrong choice. Other features I'm looking for is pockets, for both trousers and dresses - I want to be able to keep my phone with me at all times so I can listen to podcast - and light and flowy materials. I don't want tight. I have troubles finding nice trousers, as I want them wide, ankle length or shorter an not high-waisted. All trousers these days are high-waisted, and worst of all - they often have that paper-bag style with a big belt. Looks good on others but I feel totally uncomfortable in that style and since I have a short torso it just makes me look disproportionate. Plus it looks weird if you don't tuck your top. 

Let's see if I end up buying any of these items at some point! For now it was just fun to play dress-up in my mind. And to be honest, I'm currently waiting for a package from Asos to arrive, that I ordered a while ago, with among other things a dress for a jungle themed fancy dress party in a couple of weeks. 

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

One positive and two negatives

The past few days I've been questioning my decision of trying to become a freelance designer. I will probably come back to this issue in another post, I need to reason a bit with myself and writing about it helps. But in general, it would be so much more logical to just try to get back to being an employed architect. But... I don't think I want that.

I feel a bit sad, bored and easily distracted today (hence here I am, writing this post instead of working) and I don't feel enthusiastic about my projects. I have one of those days - most likely PMS related - where any kind of feedback or criticism just gets under my skin and I feel useless and stupid. But I'm not. And handling feedback is part of what I do. But still.

the view from my home-office window
Over to something nice: I have booked my trip to Sweden and Norway this summer! I'm staying a bit longer than usual, and even though I always feel guilty for not spending enough time with everyone and not having time to hang out with all of my friends I do feel like I will have time to do plenty. I will spend 5 days in and around Gothenburg, a few days in my brother's summer house outside of Stockholm, then travel to Stavanger for 5 days, where I will hang out with my dear friend Emma. After that I will go back to Sweden together with another of my besties - Alison - and spend a weekend in central Stockholm. Then there will be a few days spent either back at my brother's summer house or at Herräng Dance Camp before I go back to Brunei. Yay!

Monday, 9 April 2018

week 15

I was a lazy blogger last week, shame on me. But I had a good week, very "normal" as these things go here, where I spent most of my time exactly where I am right now, in front of the computer, working on my different projects. This week will continue pretty much along the same lines, except with a bit more pressure since I'm leaving for another trip on Friday. This time I'm meeting up with my dad in Ho Chi Minh City, to explore a little bit of Vietnam for almost a week.

I don't really feel the need to go through this weeks "to dos" day by day, but I will say that I am really happy with the amount of work I have right now: I have enough projects and commitments for it to feel varied, but not too many to feel scattered. I have enough deadlines to keep up momentum, but not more than I can handle without losing motivation. It's a good feeling.

Anyway, I hope I can set aside some time/inspiration for a few more posts this week. Writing here is such a good way to collect my thoughts and organize my brain. It might not be the most exciting or inspiring blog for you to read, but that's just how it has to be.

Monday, 2 April 2018

week 14

Good morning, lovlies,

I have a good feeling about this week! Not because I have much planned, but because I look forward to a pretty normal and productive few days, with focus on both illustration and design work, a lot of variation but not too heavy on deliveries and deadlines.

Today - my admin and follow up day - I'm going through the week and sorting out all of the minor tasks on my to do list. Bank errands, sending out emails and making sure I have the material and information I need to be able to work efficiently on my projects. That includes downloading files for the yearbook/event profile  and designing, plus prepping the cad-files for the two architectural projects I'm working on this week. Tonight Andreas and I are going to CrossFit and I should really, really do some ironing...

I begin the day with yoga and then the focus for the day will be my illustration course! I also plan on spending and hour or so on the yearbook and then I have to do my Malay-homework because in the evening we have our final class for this semester. After that I'm off to the pool to do a few laps.

Hopefully my riding lesson goes well this morning... I'm still really on the fence if I should continue or not. I don't really enjoy it, but on the other hand I don't want to just give up even though I'm not making any progress right now. The rest of the day I'm alternating between my two architect projects - my friends bathroom renovation and my brothers summer house renovation - plus working on my online Revit course. In the evening the most exciting thing this week will happen - I've decide to do a quick refresher class in scuba diving, in order to get a kick in the but and actually start diving again! It's been about 8 years since my last dive and I am just a little bit nervous.

I begin the day with a meeting with the others in the team working on the re-modelling project where I'm consulting. It's been quiet for a while with this, I hope we can get started again soon. The rest of the day will be spend with the same projects as on Wednesday, and in the evening me and Andreas will go to CrossFit again.

I'll spend this day working on the yearbook/event profile and my illustration course. Not much else is planned just yet, most likely there will be time for a beer on the balcony in the evening.

I'll probably have to do some finishing touches on this weeks assignment in the illustration course, and the on Sunday I'm compiling content and editing the newsletter for the expat organization I'm a part of here. Other than that I hope for another calm weekend with maybe an evening swim in the ocean!

Friday, 30 March 2018

outfits lately

I like posting a few outfits here every now and then, it's one of my favorite things in this blog to look back on. I think how I dress says a lot about how I feel and what is going on in my life! I usually snap a few photos in the hallway mirror if I'm happy about what I'm wearing. I don't post them very often, but here's a small selection of what I've been wearing lately. 

A dress! I used to wear these cute little dresses all the time back in Norway, but not so often these days. So it's fun to get back to it every now and then!
Old dress from... the internet...

My going to a meeting uniform - trousers and a happy-looking shirt
Uniqlo trousers, Warehouse shirt, COS earrings and Clark flats

Wide and patterned trousers are also a staple in my closet these days.
Trousers H&M, top Banana Republic and Cardigan from a little boutique in Sweden I don't remeber the name of. 

Fun and comfy for a day in my home office!
the flamingo shirt is a gift from Andreas and the trousers are H&M

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Self care

There’s something about being away from home a lot over a period of time that makes me really long for routines and normality. And after this past month or so, when I’ve been either traveling or at home but with tons of work to do, I'm so glad to get back to my everyday life. Which I love. Where I’m the one in control, I can hang with the cats any time I want and just be.

The past month has been fun, filled with new experiences and impressions but I’ve lost my routines. And I’ve stopped taking care of myself. And even though I’ve never had any anxiety of growing older, I’ve come to a point where I feel I should take better care of myself now, to be healthier later on in life. I'm not talking about anything major here, but I think my attitude is changing a bit, I’m slowly understanding that this is the only body I have and we’ll have to live with each other for the rest of my life.

I’m actually quite good at keeping up good routines when it comes to working out and eating proper food as long as nothing major messes with my plans. Major things in this case can be travels, sickness or too much work. And once I lose my routines I lose all of them. For a long time. Because I feel I’m being kinder to me self if I let myself skip a workout (or five), or eat takeaway food for a whole weekend, or not really leave the house for a week. But I’m also totally aware that this will not make me feel happier, or more healthy or give me back my energy. Rather the opposite.

Huh. This was not really was this post was supposed to be about. It was supposed to be about the fact that I’ve faced (hehe) the fact I’m turning 35 soon and it’s time to start taking care of my skin! I invested (stupid word for something like this, I know, but because of the price it felt like an investment) in a proper face cream - with anti-aging stuff! -  and eye cream. I’ve never had any real problems with my skin, but I’ve noticed it’s feeling less smooth and healthy looking, so I guess it’s time. To be honest my faith in various creams like this is quite low. I have a hard time believing an expensive fancy cream works much better than a cheap one, but I think paying the extra money helps with the mental part of this routine - the feeling of giving your body a gift, spoiling it a bit, and I also think if I’ve paid a bit more for it I might actually want to use it. Or maybe it’s the opposite, I’ll be afraid of using it? Like when you buy that one fancy piece of clothing and you save it for a special occasion and then once s sufficiently extravagant one comes up that garment is out of style, or too small and so will never be worn... well, we’ll see.