7.27.2015

Monthly Music

7.27.2015
Hello again! 

Are you ready for a new playlist? Hit play for July's music and yes as you may or may not see, a couple of songs are from HeyClaire latest mixtape. What can I say, it had some pretty awesome music that I continued listening to throughout the rest of the month.


Rationale - Fast Lane
Years & Years - Real
Powers - Beat of my Drum
Jonathan Jeremmiah - Oh Desire
Jamie xx feat. Romy - Loud Places
Beck - Dreams
Years & Years - Worship
Andrew Belle - Signs of Life

Xx

7.26.2015

Foodies' Fun

7.26.2015
Hello, hello!

How are you? I'm most likely feeling awesome as I am currently on my four-day-roadtrip with a group of friends and most definitely are having the time of my life. Making this post pre-vacation time you will just have to wait for the glorious food I had whilst roadtrippin' (is that even a word?), but that doesn't mean I'm leaving you hanging. Have look at what the month of July brought to the table.


Easy and fulfilling dinner: chicken stew patties  


Made another batch of these ViviannaDoesMakeup/TanyaBurr Cookies and they turned out a lot more presentable this time for... 


A cocktailparty by one of my best friends, Lizzy. Have a look at all the food! And uh yes... the cocktails were pretty amazing too (I had around five maybe?)


Delicious yoghurt bowl with fruit that was available in our fridge, topped off with just a tiny bit of granola

For my mom and I the Summer months means time for Papeda - the glue-like consistency you see it the bottom right corner. In addition a wide variety of small dishes including petjel dip (a sauce/dip made mostly of peanuts or peanut butter).  


I know, I know! This one is extremely blurry, but I had to share it. Some time ago I went to the Efteling (a Dutch theme park) with Esther, a good friend of mine, and her parents. Our dinner was pancakes and will you just take a look at this pancake of goat cheese cream, rucola, apples, honey, and caramelized pecans.


Steamed chicken tandoori for dinner as I was heading for work and needed something quick and easy to make. Pop this premade dish in the microwave for about 6 or 7 minutes and it's done.  


The Dutch version of cheesecake with low-fat quark - just as good, but an entirely different flavour.


And suddenly I was in the mood for...French toast! 


First time at Filling Station - an American-styled diner in Lanaken. For me? A Tex-Mex burger (guacamole, cheese, and bacon) and for dessert... 


A banana milkshake 


Haven't tried these yet, but they sure look great. Five packs so perfect for our roadtrip. Then again, who knows we might have eaten them by now.


Next to the chocolate and pecan popcorn, I also found these two cakes - Blackcurrent fool cake and Banoffee cake - at M&S in the Hague when my mom, brother and I took a shopping trip there on Thursday.

That's it, I hope you've enjoyed! Check back tomorrow to see my Monthly Music playlist.
Xx

7.19.2015

Let's talk about hair ties...

7.19.2015

Funny topic to blog about, but with the temperature rising hair ties are no luxury of keeping your hair out of your face. Back when I started to properly take care of my hair, needing the extra attention once bleach and later on constant colouring became a thing for me - red coloured hair takes a lot to maintain - I also learned a thing or two about hair ties. Anything you do with your hair damages it. It's strange to think about it like that, but this also includes tying your hair up. The number one rule? Find one that causes the least damage.


For years I have used my trusty metal-clip free hair ties of which multiple packs can be found at H&M or Primark for two or three euros. That being said, it was time for a change now my hair has grown a lot longer which means it is a lot harder to keep it in place. I remember on my trip to Leuven with a friend of mine, I was eager on getting my hair out of my face, and I do not know how many times a day I had to redo the bun on top of my head. Securing it two times round just did not do the trick - three was not an option or the hair tie would break - and adding two hair ties to secure it was just to tight I am sure I would have gotten a headache. Now I obviously could opt for slightly thicker ones, but then again I find those to not sit well around my wrist when I do not need them. Long story short, I needed new ones.


Enter the twistbands. These knotted elastic trim hair ties are a lifesaver. They are thin and easy to wear on the wrist - you'd think the knot at the end or it being a wider band would annoy you, but it is such soft and thin material you hardly feel it. It doesn't sit tight on the wrist as you usually have when you put on a new hair tie on your wrist. More importantly, they hardly damage the hair and leave no kinks. Easy to wear and it keeps your pony tail, bun, or braid nicely secured. You can get the official branded Twistbands on the website here, or just check your local drugstore for something similar. I got a pack of six, all black, for 0.99 at a pound shop. What a bargain!

Xx

7.12.2015

Mindfulness

7.12.2015
Welcome back to another weekly post!

Ever feel stressed, full of thoughts, anxious? Are you, like me, an overthinker and nightowl who cannot seem to get rest when it time for bed? Or do just need moments in your day to settle back and relax? I have found something that just might help you with either one of those situations. Let me introduce you to the mobile app Calm - an app that can "help you meditate, sleep, relax and so much more."


Calm is a free downloadable app with in-app payment options (should you want to expand and use the extra features) although the free options within the app will cater your basic needs just fine. The app is all about setting the right atmosphere for you to find your center and introduces you to mindfulness, an important element in Buddhism, where one intentionally accepts and non-judgementally focuses on one's emotions, sensations, and thoughts in the here and now. Once you downloaded the app you get to the main menu of Calm consisting of three options:




Your profile: This is where you can keep track of your progress and days when you have used the app. 


The Meditation page: This is where you can select and start your meditations. It shows your current program - the 7 days of Calm is your introductory program into mindfulness and the app. Next to this you also have the option to take premade guided meditations of which "Calm" and "Body Scan" are the freely available ones and should you want to go into deeper or more specific meditation cycles you can make use of the pro programs. The app lastly gives you the option "Timer" where you can set up your own meditation session.


Scenes: This is the page where you can select certain scenes of relaxation with background sounds and noises to cater your perfect situation to be at ease.


It is hard for me to fall asleep unless I am utterly knackered from say a very emotional day, walking until my feet hurt, gone out and had drinks and so on. Switching off in the evenings for me consists of watching videos on YouTube or a film or episode(s) of a TV series on my laptop. Obviously, this is not the way to switch off as it has been proven that staring at a screen before going to bed actually provides the opposite, but hey when am I going to be able to catch up? In the last few weeks I have tried different apps to fall asleep more easily, and this one has worked out the best to have overthinking me wind down a bit.  I have even used this when I was a bit restless or full of thoughts during the day and needed to clear my head. In the scenes available there are some of my favourites calming sounds such as the 'Silent Clouds,' and 'Celestial Sunbeams,' and the guided voices are pretty relaxing as well. The introductory program '7 Days of Calm' is great if your are - like me - new to all this or just need a little guidance and I often found that their comments of wandering off were on point which was funny. You'll see what I mean when you first tried it. What is your way of having a clear head and be at ease? Sound off in the comments below!

Xx

7.05.2015

Back From...│ 's-Hertogenbosch

7.05.2015
Hello again,

I hope you are doing well. If you've seen my last post which was my monthly Foodies' Fun you know what today's post is going to be (or you can just see the title). On the 26th of June my stepfather, mother, and I spent a day in 's-Hertogenbosch also known as Den Bosch. Naturally I shot some photos - as I always do - but this time, I used my new camera - the Sony NEX-3N. Have a look at this charming city.




My parents before we entered Jan de Groot, known for THE Bossche Boll - the pastry Den Bosch is most linked to. 

 Just look at all the Bossche bollen


Our lunch at Jan de Groot


Den Bosch had a ton of these cute canals which I didn't know and you could take a sightseeing trip on a little boat on the canals. 



Cute shops were easy to find such as this antique shop...




...but also a lot of concept stores which I really liked.



We also stopped at the bookshop Adr.Heinen and we all ended up buying a book.









After which we passed the church and took a stroll through the park.


Love how this house is situated near the water and the park.



We also came across this old-fashioned sweets shop - Tum Tum


Love the details!



  
And ending this post with a selfie - still need to find the correct angle as you can see. I hope you enjoyed this little look into the charming city that is Den Bosch. Until next time!

Xx