Studying Mandarin – tips and advice

Hello everyone! It has been awhile, sorry for that, I was busy with my exams. Anyways, I ordered HSK level 3 books the other day and they came in today which made me want to write a blogpost about my journey of studying Mandarin for three years now. In today’s blogpost I will talk about that and I will also have some tips and advice for you all, so let’s start!

When learning Chinese I always keep in mind I learn not one language but two: Pinyin and Characters. Of course they are the same but when learning they are different, when I see characters I need to know both the meaning in either English or Dutch and the Chinese pronunciation for it. For example, 我 means I or ik in Dutch but the Chinese pronunciation is wǒ. I always make word lists of the words I’m learning and I divide them into characters pinyin and Dutch (or English, depending on what book I then use for studying). That is my second tip, word lists. Always, and I can’t stress this enough, always make word lists! I usually just fill in the characters on my computer and then later fill in the pinyin and the translation by hand so I can already start connecting them. If anyone is interested I can upload my HSK level 1 & 2 word lists, let me know! Also, upload those word lists to Quizlet and use that to learn! It’s very easy to recognize the characters and connect them. Another tip of mine is to write all of your characters as many times as you can until you know them, by know them I mean that you’re able to write the character, be able to say it and know the translation. Another way to remember them etcetera is to use flash cards, for me this personally doesn’t work but I know for some people it does work!

To really know how to pronounce things I watch Chinese dramas. Some favourites of mine are Meteor Garden 2018 (50 episodes) and the story of Yanxi Palace (延禧攻略, 70 episodes). Both series are English subbed and 延禧攻略 also has the Chinese characters in the actual video. You can watch Meteor Garden on Netlix and 延禧攻略 on YouTube. Another great way to learn the pronunciation is watching Chinese variety shows, there are a lot of people who sub those kind of shows and most of the times they have ”notes” or an ”explanation” in the video to explain certain subtitles/translations. Some variety shows are happy camp, keep running, idol producer, produce 101 (Chinese version, don’t get it mixed up with the Korean versions) and 2 days & 1 night (again, look for the Chinese version not the Korean one).

I personally also use Duolingo to practice. I do have to say that if you’re a beginner to maybe not use Duolingo since they don’t really explain the things, which can make it confusing. But if you’re already a bit familiar with how Chinese works then definitely use Duolingo. It’s not that hard and you really learn new things. They recently added the leaderboard which makes it really competitive to learn (I learn now more than I did before because I want to stay on the leaderboard haha). On Duolingo they also have chat groups and discussion boards where you can look for an explanation or to communicate in Chinese.

For now I think this is good. If you want more of these let me know so I can write some more! Until next time 🙂



Hello everyone! I recently stumbled upon a tweet saying something along the lines of #20booksofsummer so of course I had to check it out. Apparently it’s a challenge to read 10, 15 or 20 books from June 3rd to September 2nd. Here’s the original post for those who didn’t know about this challenge (like me).

Even though I didn’t know about this challenge until today I am still going to participate in it, I want to try and read 15 books (I don’t know if I’ll be able to finish 20 books and get my hands on 20 books) and because I am starting late I’ve unknowingly already finished 2 books during this time: Kingsbane by Claire Legrand (review coming very soon!) and Truthwitch by Susan Dennard (I think I might also write a review for this one).

As for my TBR, I haven’t picked out 15 books yet but I know at least some books I want to read during this time period. I also ordered 5 books yesterday so I hope they’ll arrive very soon so I can read them during this time as well. Anyways this is my TBR:

  • Kingsbane by Claire Legrand
  • Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
  • Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen
  • The House of Hades by Rick Riordan (started already in May though)
  • The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
  • Windwitch by Susan Dennard
  • Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard
  • Sightwitch by Susan Dennard
  • Nocturna by Maya Motanye
  • The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
  • Fairyloot book of June

I’m sure I’m going to find 4 other books to read, maybe my library has some books I still want to read, I’ll keep you all posted! Anyways, to get updates on how I’m doing I suggest you follow me on my Twitter account.

Until next time!


Week in my life – week 16

Hello everyone! Welcome to a new blogpost. This is another week in my life but I promise some other kinds of blogposts will be going up soon. This week was pretty uneventful but I did manage to do some stuff.


I went to school for nothing lol. I didn’t do anything else besides watching YouTube today, which can be nice sometimes.


Again, I went to school for nothing but at least I had work in the afternoon.


My official last school day! In the Netherlands we always make a big party out of it but sadly that didn’t happen this time. We didn’t even make it through the first hour. It was fun until some people ruined it. I was already home before noon.


I had to go to school today to sign some papers and check if all of my grades were correct. We also took the exam picture, which is a photo of all Havo exam students. In the evening I worked on my exam schedule and my planning.


I worked in the morning because one of my colleagues couldn’t work and in the afternoon my family and I went to this place where we would meet with my family from Norway. We hiked 4km and then went to dinner. The weather was beautiful and it was really nice to see my family again.


I didn’t do much since I had work from 12 until 5pm.


I didn’t do anything today besides reading which is something I had wanted to do for awhile now. In the evening/night I finished reading Magnus Chase #3, for my OWLsreadathon. I then started reading Heroes of Olympus #1. I also changed my OWLs TBR to fit more into the books I’ve already read this month.

That’s it for this week! As I said before it was pretty uneventful but that’s okay. I managed to finish Magnus Chase #3 and read the first 155 pages in Heroes of Olympus #3.

Until next time!


Week in my life – week 15

Hello everyone! I don’t have many things going on this week but I still want to do some things (like reading and making spreads) and on Friday BTS is dropping their new album. Anyways let’s start!


At school I didn’t really do much, but I had to stay from 9am until 5pm. In the evening my Chinese teacher took us out for dinner to celebrate finishing Chinese. The food was really good and ever since that dinner I’ve been craving dumplings.


I was done with school at 12 so I used the afternoon to create some spreads (BLACKPINK’S Kill This Love, Chen’s April, and a Flower and a collab).


I was free today on the condition I did an English exam which I did as soon as I woke up! I didn’t do much at all today.


I only had one hour of school today where we didn’t do much at all. In the afternoon I did my homework and in the evening I finished reading Evermore by Sara Holland.


Comeback day! I was so nervous all day today but at 11am I had three inbetween hours. Luckily for me the BTS album dropped so I was able to go and buy the album immediately! I went with someone from school and we had lunch at the Hema! After that my friend had to go back to school but I went home. Once I was home I was finally able to watch the new MV (which I really love by the way!) and I made my spread for the album (I always make a spread on my first time listening). At 2pm I had to be back at school for my last class of the day and then I had work at 6pm until 8pm.




I didn’t do much today because I was working from 12 until 5.


I really did not enjoy this day at all. I really had no idea what to do because I’m basically all done with school. I watched a lot of YouTube today and also read a lot in the Final Empire, in the evening I read in Magnus Chase #3 (which I really enjoy so far), which is my second book for the OWLS Readathon.

This week was pretty boring and I didn’t have to do much for school, anyways I still hope you all like this blogpost. Until next time! 🙂


O.W.L.S. Magical Readathon

Hello everyone! Today’s post is my TBR for the O.W.L.S. Magical Readathon hosted by G on Youtube and Twitter. The purpose of this Readathon is to assign yourself a career after you’ve completed your study at Hogwarts , each career has certain prompts for books. There are ones with only 3 prompts (which are all subjects by the way) but there are also ones with more than 8. For more information on what exactly the Readathon is, please watch this video.

I have decided to go with the Magizoologist career! This career has 4 subjects:

  • Care of magical creatures (land animal on the cover)
  • Charms (age line: read an adult work)
  • Herbology (plant on the cover)
  • Potions (next ingredient: sequel)

I’ve decided to go with this career because I think I will be able to complete all of these subjects. So for these subjects I have choosen the following books:

  • The Outcast by Taran Matharu
  • The final empire by Brandon Sanderson
  • Everlife by Gena Showalter
  • Magnus Chase #3: The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan

So this is my TBR for April, I don’t know how much I will be able to read since I have to prepare for my exams in May but after April 17th I’m done with school, we shall see!

That’s it for this blogpost, I’ll talk to you all in my next post.



March Wrap-Up

March was a really busy month for me, I had testweek (week full of school exams) and I had to prepare for that and other school stuff, like reports, but also book reports. Somehow I managed to read 9 (technically 8) books this month, without further ado, let’s get started!

  • In a Dark Wood wandering by Hella S Haasse, 3 out of 5 stars. I had to read this for school and I really enjoyed it but it really started to drag on and on. I do recommend it if you’re into historical fiction (al though I suppose this is more like non fiction).
  • Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst, DNF’ed at 33%. I tried, I really tried, but I did not like it all. I was not interested in the story or the characters and I also did not like the world. It just wasn’t my cup of tea but the writing style was nice.
  • Der Richter und Sein Henker by Friedrich Dürrenmatt, 4 out of 5 stars. A very interesting story which I read for my German class.
  • The Princess saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace, 4 out of 5 stars. I read this for the second time and it really hits me everytime.
  • The Witch doesn’t Burn in this One by Amanda Lovelace, 3 out of 5 stars. The exact same story as ”The Princess saves herself in this one”.
  • Die Panne by Friedrich Dürrenmatt, no rating. I started reading this for my German class but I didn’t end up using it. Nonetheless it’s a good book.
  • Charmcaster by Sebastien de Castell, 4 out of 5 stars. This is the third book in what is set to be a six books series I believe. I really enjoy this series, it keeps getting better with every new book. Highly recommend for people who enjoy Harry Potter and Rick Riordan’s books!
  • Philosophy of the I, I read this for school and as a preparation for my exams. Very interesting.
  • To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo, 4 out of 5 stars. I read this book in a day for #ReadathonbyZoe. I really enjoyed it although it was a bit of a slower read. The world building is really good and so are the plot and characters.

That’s it for this month’s wrap-up. Let me know what you read in March!



Hello everyone! This is my first blog post on this blog. In this post I am going to introduce myself and give you all an insight on what to expect on this blog. Let’s start, shall we?

So hi, hello! I am Amber, on Instagram and Twitter known as @cosmicclementin(e). I am a Dutch girl living in the Netherlands. I am currently in my exam year of high school and I will be showing you all my journey through my exams. I love to read, bullet/kpop journal and collect kpop albums!

What can you expect on this blog?

  • Week/day in my life
  • Reviews
  • Wrap-ups
  • Hauls
  • Journal spreads
  • Tips and advice
  • And other random stuff

Anyways, I hope you like my blog and if you do let me know! Until next time!

July playlist

Hello everyone! I can’t believe July is already over, this month went by in the blink of an eye, at least that’s what it feels like for me. In the month of July I listened to some new music and some favourites of mine.


Are any of your favourites here too? Let me know what you think of my playlist! This is just one of many playlists I listened to this month, but this one has the most songs (76 to be exact) I listened to on it 🙂 Until next time.

July Wrap-Up

Hello everyone! This month went by too fast for my liking but I still managed to read seven books! In today’s post I’m going to share with you the books I read.

  • I started off this month by finishing Windwitch by Susan Dennard which I had started in June. I really enjoyed this book and gave it 4 out of 5 stars. It was a bit slower than Truthwitch but still very enjoyable!
  • After reading Windwitch I couldn’t stop myself and read Sightwitch, a novella set in the Witchlands world also by Susan Dennard. This book was so interesting I couldn’t stop reading. 5 out of 5 stars.
  • My sister had bought the most recent release of her favourite author which was only 58 pages, which is why I also decided to read it, it’s called Vervloekt (cursed in English) by Mel Wallis de Vries. It was too short for my liking which is why I gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars.
  • I decided to join in on the Fairyloot readathon of July which happened to be for Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson. I wasn’t able to stick to the schedule because I couldn’t stop reading lol. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars because I wish the book was either longer or it would have gotten a sequel.
  • I then finished reading the house of Hades by Rick Riordan, this one was definitely a bit harder to get through (took me two months, yikes) but still very enjoyable. 4 out of 5 stars.
  • I then decided to reread Roar by Cora Carmack for the OWLs readathon, I was able to read this in one day and I’m looking forward to the sequel which is set to release in August! I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.
  • And lastly I read the Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien for the third time! This one was also for the OWLs readathon and I loved it very much, despite reading it for the third time. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars.

That’s it for my reading month of July, let me know what you read! Until next time 🙂

April wrap-up & May TBR

Hello everyone! It’s that time of the month again! Today’s post is my April wrap-up and my May TBR! As you may have known I joined in on the Magical OWLs Readathon this month and I managed to finish the books for it! Anyways, let’s start.


  • Evermore by Sara Holland, 4 out of 5 stars. It was a good book but I think I liked the first book more.
  • Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan, 4 out of 5 stars. The last book in the Magnus Chase trilogy. I really liked this book as it was set in multiple countries and was action packed! This might be my favourite Magnus Chase book.
  • The Lost Hero, the Son of Neptune and the Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan, all 4 out of 5 stars. Man oh man this series is amazing! I couldn’t stop reading it and I only stopped reading after the 3rd book to focus on my exams. This series is a mix of Greek and Roman mythology and it’s just so good! The characters and the storyline are all so amazing.
  • The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson, 4 out of 5 stars. This book is set in a world where the bad guy won and honestly if that doesn’t make you curious then I don’t know what will. It is full of knowledge, details and friendship. I really liked it although it was a bit hard to get into.


  • The House of Hades by Rick Riordan
  • The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

I don’t like to set many books for my TBR’s just so I won’t have these expectations for myself. I do have some other unread books on my bookshelves so we’ll see what else I end up reading this month!

That’s it for this blogpost, I hope you liked it and let me know what you read in April!

Heroes of Olympus: the Lost Hero – Book review

Hello everyone! It’s time for my very first book review. I just finished reading the Lost Hero like 10 minutes ago and I’ve decided to write a review for it. This review is spoiler free.

Before we get into the review there’s some background information you may want to know. I’ve read the Percy Jackson series a couple of years ago and I’m actually one of the few people who enjoyed the movies. I read the first book in Rick Riordan’s Egyptian trilogy a couple of months ago and I finished reading the last book in the Magnus Chase trilogy yesterday night. Yes this does seem a bit weird because I didn’t follow the ”right” way of reading all of his books. I have tried reading this book before though but I couldn’t make it through it the first couple of times. Now without further ado, let’s get started!

I really, really enjoyed this book (more than his Norse mythology series) because I just love the mythologies. I really enjoyed that I remembered every Greek aspect whilst reading the book, I also really enjoyed that the Roman aspect was similar but not the same to the Greek aspect. I can’t wait to learn more about the Roman aspect!

As for the characters and plot:

I feel like we didn’t get a good chance to really get to know our characters yet because the plot was moving really fast! I’m glad it did though because I couldn’t stop reading it. I feel like we weren’t able to get to know Jason at all because of his memory loss but in the next book it should become easier. Even though we didn’t really get to know our characters I still like them, the things we did get to know make them very likeable and they all seem really interesting! Our main characters each have a secret and the queeste makes them closer to each other. They really feel like a family and I just love that Rick Riordan writes his characters like this. I’m curious to see what will happen to them next.

The book is high paced, the characters are complex and each have their own flaws but are still ambitious and try to do what’s good. Overall I don’t think the book could have been written any better, it is exactly as how Rick Riordan wanted it to be and it makes me curious to the next book (which I might just buy tomorrow).

That’s it for this review! I really enjoyed this book and writing my first ever review on this blog. This review was supposed to go up two days ago but I forgot to schedule it, sorry. Anyways, until next time!

Week in my life – week 14

Hello everyone! Today’s week was quite busy for me. I had a lot of last minute things to do for school.


Today I had a school day from 9am until 2pm (2 hours of economics, 2 hours of English, and 1 hour of Dutch, I luckily didn’t have to go to my Chinese class). It was a pretty chill day as we didn’t really do anything at all. I did get back my economics grade which was really bad (2.6 out of 10), I already knew I had to retake this test because it went so bad but at least I wasn’t the only one in my class (the average was a 4.9 out of 10). I didn’t read today nor did I journal.


Today I also had school from 9am until 2pm and again we didn’t do much at all. This is partially due to the fact that we’re preparing for the exams in May and partially due to the fact that we can’t do anything anymore, for example I’ve finished my Spanish class today (and I got back my final grade which was a 7.7 out of 10) so we’re not doing anything anymore in those classes. I watched some Gossip Girl and the Korean movie ”The King” after school. In the evening I studied for my economics test.


Today I only had school for four hours! I worked on my project for social studies and that’s basically all we did at school. In the evening I worked on my philosophy presentation and after dinner my mom, sister and I went to the Ikea!


I only had three hours of school today, I went bowling in the afternoon with my German class so I studied for economics before that. In the evening I worked some more on my philosophy presentation and that’s basically all I did.


I had my philosophy presentation today and it went really well! Other than that I didn’t really do much at school but I did work in the evening.


Today was really busy because I had to prepare for my birthday party. My sister and I went into the city to buy some things for the cakes etcetera. I also made the cakes and cleaned the house. I studied really quickly for my economics resit and in the evening my friends came over and we had a really great time! Even though we just sat and talked and listened to music 🙂


My actual birthday! I turned 17 which is really crazy to think. The weather was absolutely beautiful. In the morning my sister and I made some cakes and in the afternoon some people came over. In the evening we had take out which was so good and I studied for economics.

That’s it! I didn’t finish any books or spreads but I did read quite a bit in the Final Empire.

Until next time!

Maak je eigen website aan bij WordPress.com
Aan de slag