Category Archives: Life

We’re moving!

After a long search we suddenly found a new apartment earlier this month. We have lived in Haarlem for about 2,5 years and we absolutely love this city. The apartment that we rented has been for sale for years and since the start of this year we saw a big increase in potential buyers. So we decided it was time for us to start searching for a new place to call home. We found a perfect new place but unfortunately it’s not in Haarlem. We’re moving to Hilversum, which is not the most exciting city but it is still very close to Amsterdam and also to Utrecht and Amersfoort (which really makes me happy). Another big plus is that our new apartment is bigger (two bedrooms!) and super close to the forest (hello Sunday morning walks!).

Hilversum will be my fifth city to live in and might be the last one for now in the Netherlands. We have been thinking for a while to move to Berlin somewhere in the next two/three years. So from Hilversum we’ll figure that out!

We will start moving on Monday so this weekend will be reserved for packing everything. I can’t wait to give all of our stuff a new place and to buy lots and lots of new plants.

New year, new goals

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It’s a new year! The last week of 2015 me and Rene both had a week off. Normally we always go on a holiday or a citytrip whenever we have some days off but this time we just stayed at home. It was great to be at home together; we went for a beach walk, played games, went to the movies and drank a lot of coffee together. On thursday we baked a whole lot of oliebollen, it’s a traditional Dutch New Year’s treat (you can compare it to a doughnut in the shape of a snowball). We sold 40 oliebollen to people in our neighbourhood thanks to a platform for sharing food called thuis afgehaald. We baked around 100 oliebollen that day! In the evening my parents, my sister and her boyfriend came over to celebrate New Year’s Eve with us. They all slept over for 2 nights and it was so good to be together.

I’ve lost my wisdom teeth yesterday – something I’ve been afraid of for a real long time! Luckily my dental surgeon was the most friendly doctor I’ve met in years so I was really happy about that. I decided to conquer some more fears this year, because it feels so good. Here are some of my goals for 2016:

  • make a new layout for the blog
  • conquer my fear for insects (big spiders and wasps in particular)
  • learn to play guitar. I just bought the guitalele above, a Yamaha GL1, it’s a combination between a normal guitar and a ukulele. I used to play a little guitar when I was in school but just when I got the hang of it I stopped playing (so stupid!)
  • learn Spanish and Danish with the help of Duolingo
  • learn more about coffee and latte art. This thursday I’m going to do a coffee training (gift from Rene for my birthday) at one of the best coffee shops in Haarlem; Mogador
  • read 25 books (also see my Goodreads)
  • learn to animate my illustrated characters (so excited about this!)
  • learn screenprinting (I wanted to learn this last year but it didn’t happen so this year it’s a must)
  • practise my handlettering
  • go for more walks because it relaxes me and makes me more productive
  • meet new people and go on a lot of coffee dates

Other really cool things that are happening this year:

  • my brother in law that lives in Toronto will get married in August to his awesome girlfriend and they will marry in the Netherlands. Also really cool; I’ve designed their Save The Date and I’m working on a wedding website design as we speak!
  • travel to America and Canada – while this was planned for june/july, we’re not sure if we will make it in those months but we will go there somewhere this year
  • there’s a chance that at the end of February, we will be going on a winter sport trip (which means snowboarding for me, and skiing for Rene)

I hope to achieve a lot of the listed goals above, especially since there are so many new things I want to learn. Instead of the cliché resolutions like eating more healthy food or go to the gym more often I decided to focus on things I really want to learn. Learning new things is easy to achieve and it’s awesome to learn new skills! What do you want to learn in 2016?

Christmas celebrations #1

Christmas DinnerI hope you all had a lovely Christmas! Mine was filled with the celebration of my 27th birthday and the celebration of Christmas with the family. I have spend the last 1,5 week preparing our Christmas dinner. We bought some new dishes, new candle holders and I designed a menu card for the 3 course dinner we’ve planned. For starters we had carpaccio on a sourdough crouton. The main course included a delicious roasted ham in honey mustard and thyme dressing, cooked pears (in red wine with cinnamon), collared beef, sweet potato wedges, snap beens with smoked bacon and sweet carrot in honey. For dessert we had homemade tiramisu with disaronno. The dinner was a big succes and it made me so happy to see everyone enjoying the food and each other’s company.

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We made this dinner two times. At December 25th my family sat at our dinner table and at December 26th my family-in-law enjoyed our Christmas menu. Sweet memories!Aan tafel Aan tafel 2

 

At the seaside

Yesterday we took the train to Beverwijk and a bus to Wijk aan Zee. My parents gave us a voucher for a hotel so we booked a room at a hotel next to the beach. The weather was perfect – deep blue skies and some small clouds. The hotel has a great location in the dunes so it is only a couple of metres away from the beach. I love going to beach – the waves that come rolling in, feeling the sand between my toes, the salty clean air, the shrieky sounds of the seagulls and finding treasures like feathers and shells. We sat on the beach and watched a beautiful sunset. This morning we enjoyed a big breakfast buffet so I think I will skip lunch today. Now it’s back to work. I hope you all have a great week!

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Weekend Scenes

Some scenes from this weekend.

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We found this blue car in one of the streets in the city center. This is exactly the reason why I love blue cars so much. I hope to drive around in a car like this one day!breakfast in bed

It’s been a while since Rene and I enjoyed breakfast in bed so we decided to start our sunday like this.klavertje vijf

This is my favorite flowershop in Haarlem. Their storefront is continually changing and they have by far the best choice in flowers and plants.Sunlight VijfhoekEarly morning walks are my favorite – the light and shadows are always stunning and everything looks so calm.

 

We’re going on a trip

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We’re going on a trip to London next week! I’m very excited to go away for a couple of days and have some rest. The last trip was to Lisbon in November and that feels so long ago!

We will leave next saturday by bus / boat and will stay in London till Saturday the 21st. I bought a Herb Lester map this week to get in the mood. The map was designed by Anna Hurley and features 61 of the best specials suppliers in London.

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We’re planning to couch surf but so far we hadn’t many positive responses from people, so we might end up booking a room with Airbnb again. If you have any tips for London feel free to leave them in a message!

How I learned to enjoy the little things in life

 

little things

I’m thinking a lot about life these days. One year ago I was so incredibly stressed out at this time of the year. I was about to finish my education (Office Management) which caused me so much stress and head troubles. It wasn’t sure if I would graduate in time and I had to do a last-minute internship in Amsterdam. I had been struggling for quite some years, never quite sure about what to do in life, which education would be the right one etc.. It resulted in me making the wrong choices again and again. It was so frustrating! Everyone else around me seemed so sure about what path to choose and what to do next that I felt more and more insecure about everything I did. In the end I graduated a little bit later than the rest, last September. Over the summer I was literally exhausted from all the stress and worries I’ve had for months. I took a long break over the summer, did a road trip in France and read a lot of books.

That summer I also learned to work with Illustrator and got myself a drawing tablet. Drawing is one of the things that have always calmed me down, ever since I was a young girl. Somehow over the years I lost that as a hobby. Coming back to it felt so good! I discovered that designing might be what I wanted to do in life, but I didn’t want to go back to school since I was 25 and totally done with school. I started teaching myself how to design with the help of youtube tutorials and Lynda courses. I loved seeing a flyer I designed unexpectedly turning up at a theatre while visiting. I’m making a lot of progress in these last few months and experienced that Illustrating is the thing I would like to focus on. I actually sold one of my designs recently which made me so happy and gave me the strength and courage to continue my designing career.

I hear from a lot of people that my life looks so good to them, based on photo’s I share. And they are so right! I love how my life has turned around in one year. I might be at one of my happiest moments in life and I realise that everyday. That doesn’t mean however that I don’t experience any though moments in life, because I really do. Starting out as an illustrator is not easy, the competition is crazy! All those people that make the most incredible designs, actually went to school for it, it can really make me doubt myself and my own designs. I also have very little money coming in which can be so frustrating since life is expensive. The thing that keeps me going at such moments is the happy feeling I  get when I’m designing. I am so thankful to Rene (who works fulltime) that he gives me the chance to do what I love. He encourages me daily and calms me down at the moments I’m freaking out or feeling anxious.

I’ve really learned how to enjoy the little things. Little things that I didn’t even notice in my stressful periods. Simple things as:
* drinking a good cup of coffee at a nice place
* flowers that are in bloom
* sitting at the table while having long conversations about life and love
* the way the light falls in from outside
* how a small breeze plays with my summer dress
* watching the world go by while going for a morning walk

urban gardening