Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Chit Chat #14 The Good, the Bad, and the Epic

The new Epica album is coming closer. Today we discussed the final details of the artwork. I can tell you that it will be amazing! Yesterday the final sessions for the backing vocals were wrapped. The mixing and mastering will slowly begin. So exciting!

Who would have thought 14 years ago, that I would still be singing on stages all over the world?! Still in high school, nervous and shy to stand in front of a crowd, I can still remember the small list of gigs that we had on our first website, the forum where we communicated with our fans. In between my lessons, I would go online in the computer room to refresh the forum site. Now we are all connected via the phones that are glued to our hands, or stuck in our pants (or in a toilet).

So much has happened since then. Uncountable things to be grateful for. 

Today, I had to go through all the shows of 2013 and 2014 for book keeping and I tried to remember all the shows. Boy, we have toured like crazy since the beginning!

I feel very 'rich' when I think about all the great memories that I have created, the lessons that I have learned, the faces that I have seen singing Epica songs.

On to many more years filled with the good, the bad, and the Epic. ;)

More news on Epica VII will be revealed soon!


Simone

Picture by Tiffany Lynn

SHARE:

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Pearl - Hyper

Being a world traveler, I need an extra battery to keep the mini office running all day (also known as smart phone). even when I am not near an electricity socket. 

While wandering through Schiphol, I passed by their electronics store where I jumped in to make a spontaneous purchase (which mostly is the case), a compact mirror battery pack with a LED ring light inside. Sounds great, and I can tell you that it actually is! 

It is a clever, technical device that also looks beautiful. Targeted at woman that like their electronics to have a more elegant look, Pearl is a great battery pack in the disguise of a compact mirror.
Available in five colors; pink, red, gold, silver and purple. 

The packaging is lovely, super sturdy and not even that heavy. Around 120 grams.
To protect the compact mirror battery pack (mouth full), you also get a pouch with it. Mine broke after opening the side pocket where you are supposed to put your cable in...  

To get it started, you first need to attach it to a power source. I used my laptop, but you can also use your phone charger as well.

Pros: 
- 3 in 1 tool, replaces two separate products
- Build in ring LED- Light
- A real eye catcher
- Works with iphone, ipad, android and any other usb powered device

Cons: 
- Light should be attached to the normal mirror, not the 3x magnifying one.
I prefer to look in the normal mirror, which means that you are lit from below and that is not very flattering. 
- Scratches easily
- Could have more than 3000 mAh

It retails for €35 at the shop in Schiphol. Online, prices may vary.

Simone















SHARE:

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Chit Chat #13 #SOCIALPOSITIVITY

A lovely tag is going around the YouTube world that I wanted to jump in on. This is my very first tag that I'm participating in, even though I'm not tagged. Does that even count? Hehe!

The whole idea was started by the very charismatic Sharon Farrell on YouTube. The tag goes by the name #SOCIALPOSITIVITY, spreading good vibes around YouTube and the Internet. I quit YT back in the day because I underestimated the time that goes into making a video. Respect for those who do what they do! Since I am not on YouTube, I do it via my blog.

The rule is that you pick two people. I adore more than two people on the internet, let alone YT, but if I have to choose: I tag Dulce Delight (Raiza Costa) and Jeffree Star to spread the love as well.

Raiza is just a pleasure to watch, and her creativity and editing skills make my day and stomach very happy!

 Jeffree, he is one of the few YouTubers besides Raiza that really make me laugh. I love a little (or in his case, a lot) of dirty jokes. I can handle and appreciate them. He is very open about his life and very fearless at it! I ordered some of his liquid lipsticks and they shipped within half an hour of placing my order. Very excited to wear them!

Go stalk them to let them know I tagged them, and spread some digital love yourself!

Simone


SHARE:

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Chit Chat #12 The Terminal

One of my favorite actors is Tom Hanks. One of my favorite movies starring Tom is The Terminal. He is such a genius actor and I just want to cuddle him; he seems such a nice person too. His movie had some resemblances to a recent experience of mine, which I didn't like so much. 

Two flights awaited me after a successful tour through New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, and China. The guys had different flights that me, so I was all by myself. I'm used to traveling apart because I don't live in the Netherlands and have a different destination than they do.

The first flight from Shanghai to Chendu, Beijing was delayed for one hour. There was a time gap of two hours for me to get my second flight. My bags were checked through to Frankfurt.

During the first flight, I was so tired that I fell asleep. Shortly before landing, one of the stewardesses came to tell me to sit close to an exit to get out as quickly as possible to get to my second flight. Her act of kindness made my day. Shortly after we landed, another stewardess was waiting to guide me along the way. She couldn't answer my question about whether I had to leave the building in order to get to Terminal 1.

All the signs led me in the wrong direction. No one spoke English. The door that I thought would lead me to the other terminal, was closed. No person was found at the desk.

After numerous failed attempts to get a conversation going, a young guy told me to go out through customs. I knew then that I had to check in again.

The way to get to Terminal 1 was at one of the exits of the domestic terminal via bus. That door was closed and no bus was to be found. All the lights at the building were closed, and again, no one spoke English and didn't want to help me.

When I finally found an exit that wasn't closed, I asked a taxi driver to take me to Terminal 1. A young girl who spoke three words of English helped me. Stupid me gave the Yuan that I borrowed from Arjan back... I thought that bringing me to the Terminal was also an act of kindness as he showed me to out of the taxi. Was I wrong! He came yelling at me and made the coin sign with his hands. I dug deep into my bag to find some money and then gave him a €20 bill. He yelled some more at me. The bill was torn a bit. He didn't accept it. Luckily, I had a second one with me.

I told him that I didn't have any Yuan and that what I gave him was more than triple what he asked. Another young guy jumped in and told him he should take the money. The taxi driver then smiled and I had to run to check in again.

I was soaked and completely out of breath. Looking like a panda with red cheeks and mascara under my eyes, I finally made it to the Gate that would take me back home. Missing flights is no picnic, and even though I sometimes thought I wasn't going to make it, I didn't give up. Wanting to get home was guiding me through two non-English speaking terminals.

After I sat down at my seat in the plane, I had the bad luck of my neighbor being one of the smelliest people my nose has ever detected in my entire life! Switching seats was the only option, so I did.

I'm always happy to be back home, but this time, I felt that a little bit more.


Simone
SHARE:

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Tomato Bread

Baking bread has been a daily thing for me ever since one of my friends showed me how easy it is. With the help of my Kitchenaid even more so.

Normally I love to eat sweet, but sometimes I just crave salty. My neighbor and I both bake and share. She once brought me her "Tomato Bread" and we all loved it. I changed it a bit more to my liking and wanted to also share it with you!

What I did was, I split the ingredients to bake a smaller loaf of bread. If you know that a lot of people will be devouring this at a party, a big one is a win. I find that they do tend to dry out fast. A small loaf is a better match for me.


What you need for a small loaf

(just double if you want a normal size)

  • Half a cube of fresh yeast
  • 200 ml lukewarm water
  • 250 grams of whole wheat flour
  • 200 grams of liquidized tomatoes
  • Handful of your favorite seeds
  • Thyme and Oregano (I use a lot)
  • Quarter cup of chopped sun dried tomatoes (not shown in the picture because I simply forgot)
  • Half teaspoon of salt
  • Black Olives (I leave them out)

First you dissolve the yeast in the water. Then, you throw it in your mixing bowl of choice (I have a Kitchenaid). Add the remaining ingredients in the order of how I wrote them down. Spray your baking tin with some baking spray and bake it at 200C for about 50 min.

This is lovely to eat warm and cold. If you put some cheese on top of a slice and broil it in the oven, it tastes just like a pizza!

Enjoy and please share some bread recipes in the comments!

My little one wanted to help decorate the plate.

Simone
SHARE:
© 2017 SIMONE SIMONS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. | IMPRESSUM