GROWTH

Although It’s been a month since my last post and I have kept none of my new years resolutions, there have still been some exciting developements in my life. After being stuck behind the cashier at the same supermarket for 4 years I finally decided to get up and leave. Now I even managed to get a respectable job as a waiter in my favourite restaurant: Hills&Mills. I must say it feels great to go home tired but happier than ever (a big bonus is the free food and all the smoothie recipies I’ve learned so far). I would describe The Hills&Mills as a relaxed, cosy, pinterest-inspired cafe where the dishes are homely and healthy with a capital H. The restaurant is run by a big family which have taken me under their wings. Just wonderful! 

  
Other exciting news is my semester abroad. Next year i’ll be exploring Copenhagen and the rest of Denmark in my weekends (hopefully there will be enough time left to study). My minor will be focussing on Sustainable and Environmental Engineering, which is a career path I have been considering. And this brings me to another point: going zero waste. 

For quite some time I’ve found inspiration in other bloggers like Into Mind for minimalism and Inge gaat groen and Trash is for tossers for zero waste. For some time now I walked around with the intention of applying it to my life but never the courage or boldness to actually try. Well this all has now changed and I have made up my mind. Tomorrow when i wake up I’ll make my bed, meditate, do yoga, watch what i eat, think positive thoughs, get rid of it all (except my books) and just be. 

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IT’S SHORT

I must admit I am quite baffled by the length of it. Something tells me that my hairdresser and I weren’t exactly on the same page but hey I can’t turn back now. Perhaps it is also a bit if the disappointment that short hair ≠ less work. It is as if I am constantly fidgeting with my hair, after blow drying it in the morning. I just say the look is kinda cute (I’m going for that Parisian style here) and edgy so I definitely don’t regret taking this leap (and it looks especially cute with my hat collection).

INSP: THE BOB AND THE BEAUTIFUL

Sorry for the corny title, but it does suit this dilemma: i will short hair only suit the lucky? Long, long not so long ago (about one year) I cut my hair off and it was a BIG deal. Had I tried it many times before? Had I chickened out and settled for a longer hairdo? Was I prepared to do it this time? Yes, yes and yes!

Dear me, I scheduled an appointment for next monday and I am already sketching up my escape plan. Last time I was adviced to have it a bit shorter since my hair is poofy, straight and I have the haircount of a billion. This often leads to big hair and now I am scared of what the bottom is going to look like. Hopefully it will come out decent enough without all too much hassle in the morning.

To keep the courage alive I am just surrounding myself with these beauties with a bob, and hopefully you’ll be inspired too.

From left to right: Unknown, Jenn Im, Alexa Chung, Kiko Mizuhara, Unknown

A GUIDE TO CREATING YOUR UNIVERSE

“Life is what you make of it.”

Part of me feels so small in this big world. As if any of my actions will never change the outcome of the human race. Just as if all the love and kindness I can give the world will never tip the scales in favor of the good. On the days that seem so desperate, gray and cold it is important to remember yourself of the exceptionally marvelous and most importantly learn to live with a positive mind-set.

The environment you surround yourself in is what you reflect to the world. If you are closed off how can you expect the rest of us to respond? While we can can still make ourselves feel comfortable in our house, I think it is important to learn how to make the most of wherever you are, whether as a tourist in London or back in your home town.

I present to you my ‘Unfinished Guide to Creating Your Universe’, hoping it may twinkle your eyes while you walk through the streets.

– find something positive to look at I live in Delft, a picturesque little town where everything is made off cobblestones and alongside the canals one can find cafe’s, shops and pancake houses. There is always something to look at, and it always makes my day. Even though the lights in the trees are on every night, it still makes me feel special. You might live in a concrete city but nevertheless there is always something that makes a city beautiful. Find it, keep it, cherish it.

– carry your charm with you both literally and figuratively speaking: be charming and keep a charm. When I leave for a day off shopping or meeting a friend I always keep my canvas bag filled with stuff I love. My book, my analogue camera, a sketch book. You might have a lucky coin or a favourite necklace. Take it with you because it makes you feel happy.

– be guided by curiosity When you see an interesting shop, pop right in and browse around. When you spot a bookstore with character be sure to always take a look. Often you will find that inside there are even cooler stuff. It’s important to follow your instinct and just wander around even without the intention of buying.

– smile to everyone you meet on the street, to the person behind the cash register, to the lovely lady walking her dog. Smiling not only makes you feel happy but it has the same effect on others. Just imagine a world where everybody wished you a lovely day!

– get inspired You found the most amazing juice bar and you go there regularly. Talk to the people who work there and ask for some recipes. Ask about the history of the place and what inspired them to open up a store. Feel inspired by their will power and determination.

– leave the house excited and ready. When I am going on an adventure I always wear my new favorite coat and a warm hat. Make yourself feel special and think about all the cool things you’ll see today. All the new places you will discover and the new memories you will make.

Hope you are inspired to take a day off and explore a new city! Do you know any other tips?

CAFE_PARIS

Cafe sign spotted in Paris

ONE YEAR OLDER

Happy Birthday to me! As a child I was always counting the days till it was finally the 20th of January. Breakfast in bed followed by a little present has been our family tradition, but now that I’m in University I can’t even find the time. Unfortunately I am in the middle of the exam period so a birthday party – let alone a moment to share with my friends – is out of the question. Luckily my boyfriend was nice enough to take me out for breakfast and sweet mom is baking me a cake. On another note this year has been so good to me. I’ve been told to have grown up a lot, although I am not completely convinced. I have been digging deep this year; trying to find what makes my heart beat, figuring out the future and working on my self. This year I travelled to Frankfurt, Munich, Venice and Paris where I met extraordinary people and occasionally I had my spontaneous moments. I will forever be grateful and I hope this year will be as magnificent.

RETHINKING MY WARDROBE

My Instagram is filled with Celine, Chanel and American apperel. I wish my closet was stocked with them, but unfortunately this will have a price. I used to shop till I literally dropped: dragging my sister through the streets. It was all about that great deal. Stores like H&M and Primark play into these flash-fashion habits. But most items have a expiration date. Think about that peplum skirt in the back of your closet. Or those bold neon colors you used to color block. I admit half of my wardrobe consists of t-shirts I never wear. And most things I buy has a bad quality; the color fades or the fabric itches.

Of course our personal style also changes. Personally I’ve had my punk skater period – oh and a year of all black everything. At the moment I’m feeling this minimalist style. I envision it as uniforms of simple shirts, black pants and nice accessories.

And here’s the aftermath; where do we go from now? A full closet but somehow incoherent and outdated. I decided to take some control of my wardrobe. Embracing minimalism and letting go. I challenge myself to quit buying. For half a year I will stop and take a moment and really thing about every purchase. Keeping stuff on a wishlist and coming back to it later on will show if it was just the moment that made you love the item or if it is actually worth while. Now I am a firm believer of DIY and therefore I am excusing thrift shop buys and self made items. Let’s hope this works out!

In the future I also plan on revamping my wardrobe by following some advice from a true inspiration: into mind. She has such great advice!

NEW YEARS EVE

Secretly this is the most exciting day. Although Christmas really was a huge blast this year I still feel that NYE has something more magical to it. First of all, there are no lies. It is what it is. Santa Claus, Sinterklaas and the Easter Bunny are a figment of someone’s imagination and most of all a big scam on society to buy buy buy. Secondly, it’s the celebration of something new. The mystery of what next year will behold and the feeling of forgiveness for the events of last year is in the air. But most importantly the night always ends with a BANG!

This years plan was a grand bight in Amsterdam with my boyfriend. We made a pact to be together than night since he was off to Germany for Christmas. I had put in a lot of thinking and my mind drifted from my moms famous Oliebollen – a delicious dutch pastery – to the beautiful light installations in A’dam. But plans change and I am currently on a train to Frankfurt. I have no clue what I’ll be doing there and all I have with me in my big duffelbag is my party dress and a bottle of Moët. Adventure awaits.

But wait a second.. I almost forgot my new years resolutions! I’m not as excited about these to begin with. Most of my promises I seem to dissapoint into the end. So let’s keep these simple.

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WISHLIST MMXIV

Christmas is around the corner. I’m both excited about New Years Eve as frightened. More on that later. Now is the time for sharing! For the first time we’re celebrating christmas (the commercial way). Since the dutch have their own traditional december holiday ‘Sinterklaas’ gifts were not usually given during christmas as well. I have great memories of it from my childhood but in recent events a new perspetive on the holiday creeped up. To make a long story short: racism is a key part and the ignorance of it has made me repulsed of the whole tradition. So for chirstmas we now have a butt load of packed presents for each other. My sister and I agreed on a limit of €5 which was plenty enough for me but despite the limit, a girl can dream beyond that..

Finally the wishlist of MMXIV:

WISHLIST_MMXIV

1. Mango Wollen Coat – I love the balance between simple and iconic, the silver buttons give a hint of glamour and the slouchy fit creates enough room for stacked sweaters (nice an warm)

2. How to be a Parisian wherever you are – Im thinking striped shirts and black skinny’s but most of all the sheer arrogance and bluntness complimented by the mischeveous grims of the french

3. Daniel Wellington Sheffield Lady Watch

4. High top Converse red – to spark everything up

5. Fuuvi Pick USB Camera – Imagine having this in the pocket of your coat at all times. Ready for al the spontaneous trips and never missing a perfect frame again (gosh I want it)

6. A beautiful minimalistic tattoo – a constellation is perhaps not suited for me since I believe i am ‘signless’, always in between two horoscopes

7. A cocktail shaker – Every party starts with a good glass of bubbles and preferably three other kinds of drinks lined up

THE MOMENT IT SHATTERED

All drama begins with human frailty. I wish it had not effected me as much, but in all fairness it did. I broke my phone’s screen, and in this moment of suprise, I had to laugh. But soon afterwards somthing dawned on me that i already knew but did not admit. I am careless even ungrateful. Just before the holidays start and all is themed with joy and sharing, I feel the guilt of taking everything as it is. And now it is broken. Somehow it also feels like a revelation. The amount of time i spent on this thing – to remind myself it does not have feelings i refer to it as a thing – is incredible. Notification after notification, I jump on it like a hawk. I have to try to keep some distance from it or it will consume me. I feel scared of being disconnected from the world, from the latest news. What if people forget i excist when i am not online? A friend of mine deleted facebook: i can’t talk to him instantaniously, i don’t see him regularly but i admire him greatly. Should I take a break too?

WRAPPING MY MIND AROUND MINIMALISM

My mind is a whirlwind of thoughts, i am certain of that. I always form ideas, something I want to make, want to have, want to give, want to do and so it goes on. I am continuously inspired but exhausted. I always have my trusted notebook to keep track, draw my ideas out and make my eternal lists. Getting around to doing something actually is where I fail. So how do I make the connection to minimalism?

My closet is filled with clothes and things I am afraid to get rid of. My walls are covered pages ripped from magazines. Every inch of horizontal space is covered. Now is this productive?

Year in year out I have filled my room with nostalgic tokens which can be categorized in the following way:

Hey I’ve been here!
train tickets, movie tokens, bussines cards (even for stores abroad). receipts and brochures of visited musea etc.

Hey I’ve found this cool thing!
I always had a soft spot for booklets, newspapers which had a great picture in it. And i would then hoard this entire book just for the sake of it.

Hey I got that from …!
Honetly in most cases I can’t even remember who from. Soap baskets which are collecting dust, t-shirts which i really don’t want to wear outside. Consequently my pyjama pile is growing with rejects.

So hello minimalism, I’ve done my research and it doesn’t seem that frightening anymore, but I am not prepared to throw out everything. Minimalism to me is a way of decluttering the space around me and my head. It’s making everything more coherent and learning to let go of stuff.