He cuts down trees.
And what does he do after he cuts them down?
He cuts them up.

Oh, sweetie – aren’t phrasal verbs fun? I thought I’d brighten up your Monday with a grammar joke (lame as it was). Hope now you’re singing this!

I’ve just come back from the epic Eurosonic/Noorderslag music festival held in one of my favorite cities- Groningen. I’ve been going for over a decade but this year I decided to make a big change. And that was…no plan. Every year I arrive armed with a little plastic file filled with notes, plans, confirmed appointments and schedules. Not this year. I had no idea what the program was, didn’t know who was going or who was playing. Had no plans for any meals, drinks, shows, meetings, or anything else. I just decided to walk in tabla rasa and see what happened- I wanted to see what situations would present themselves to me. And it all happened. All of it. And more. I ran into so many lovely friends, students, and clients and had really great, in-depth, let’s take all the time we need conversations. I talked to a Very Famous Artist about the Israeli-Arab conflict for 2 hours. I talked to a Very Famous DJ about love and how to express it. I talked to a Very Famous Actress about how to balance work that you love with a family you love. I talked to my students who were on the cusp of becoming parents. I cried a lot- happy tears at how deeply blessed I am to have all these wonderful people in every layer of my life. I got invited to dinners – Japanese, Indonesian, French cuisine and street food at 5 am. I went to bed at 5.30 every morning (the last day at 7) and I learned that some of the best things happen when they’re allowed to just happen. That, for me, is HUGE. Can’t wait for next year!

One of the things several artists asked me about is how to really find the right word when you’re trying to express yourself in English. If you’re not actively using English on a daily basis, it’s hard to increase your vocabulary. That’s like going everywhere by bike every day and wondering why you’re not winning the Formula 1 race. Keep driving to keep your engine warm – that will make all the difference! Here’s a list of my Top 5 Websites To Increase Your Vocabulary When You Don’t Use English Regularly.

  1. Take a fun test in different categories to see how much you already know – try this site to get started.
  2. Sign up for the ‘Word Of The Day’ at www.dictionary.com. And take their New Word Test every week! Oh, and download their free app. It’s so helpful!
  3. Use the BBC as a great reference to learn words relating to different news subjects – it’s a great resource for learning current vocabulary!
  4. Be a master of your own vocabulary by creating your own adaptive learning system on http://www.vocabulary.com/howitworks/. It’s very effective and a fantastic way to find words that are particularly interesting for you and your interests.
  5. Play a quick but challenging vocabulary game on your coffee break at work with this fun site!

I hope these sites help you increase your vocabulary on your own – remember – use it or lose it dear! Don’t forget to ask me if you have any questions – I’m happy to help!

Wishing you a wonderful week full of surprises – who knows what beauty will come your way this week? Let it in.

Wit lof from buffi x