Category Archives: Personal

Bad Luck Versus Good Luck

Today is Friday the thirteenth and although I’m anything but superstitious, I must admit that some bad luck hit us this morning. We woke up early and as always I made my way to the kitchen to brew some coffee. While I was grinding the beans Rene walked into the kitchen with a sad and painful face. He told me he had a very painful kink in the neck and the pain was quite bad. I tried to massage his muscles around the neck and shoulders in the hope it would be a relief but it didn’t do much. After a hot shower it felt a little better but his muscles were aching from his neck to his shoulders. He decided to stay home today and give it some rest. I’m really happy to say that he’s feeling much better right now and the rest today really helped, which is a relief as we leave tomorrow morning to go to Cologne for the weekend. Tomorrow we are together for five years! Can’t believe how fast the time flies by. We will stay in Cologne until Monday evening and I’m really looking forward to spend some time away together.

It wasn’t all bad luck though today as we also received this beautiful coffee pot from House Doctor in the mail. A couple of weeks ago House Doctor had a survey running and was giving out this coffee pot to 20 lucky people who had filled it in. Rene and me both filled it in and a couple of days later Rene received an e-mail that he had won one of the coffee pots (made me a very happy girlfriend).

♥ I hope your Friday was much better than ours – happy weekend you guys! ♥

A hot Wednesday Morning

wednesday-morning

With temperatures above the 30 degrees Celcius you could say the weather is pretty extraordinary for September. This week started slowly for me as I was being quite sick last Sunday. Yesterday my parents and my grandma visited us and we had a bbq on our rooftop terrace. It was so nice to be together and to show my grandma our new home. We appreciate these days together so much more since we don’t live really close to each other. Today I’m slowly cleaning up the house a little bit and trying to stay cool. This morning I enjoyed a piece of lemon/vanilla cake that I baked and topped it with jam and strawberries, so good!

I’ve been reading a lot of books again and just started reading Just Kids by Patti Smith. It has been on my ‘to read’ list for quite a while and finally bought it earlier this week.

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Things I like lately

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While I’m settling down in our new apartment I finally find the time again to appreciate the little things:

  • All the new plant babies in our new home (makes me a very happy plant mom)
  • Eating all the summer fruits; strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, grapes and watermelon
  • The new Radiohead album! Hoping it will be available on Spotify soon
  • Season 6 of Game Of Thrones- such a good start of the season, could be my favorite so far! Also love the new episodes of Orphan Black on Netflix
  • Coffee beans from Sweet Cup in Amsterdam (with notes of chocolate, sweet citrus and spices)
  • Walks in the forest (and the fact that the forest is now at the end of my street)
  • Reading on the couch in the evenings. I’m reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and made a quick start in Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee
  • The concert of Andrew Bird I went to in Paradiso, Amsterdam
  • Finding the perfect striped dressIMG_2810

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.

Tulip season

tulips landscape

Although I’m not the biggest flower lover out there, I’m crazy about tulips. It’s something about their colors and elegant look that makes me so happy. Maybe it’s also the longing for Spring with it’s bright light and everything blooming. I picked up these beautiful pink tulips with soft white edges to cheer up the house.

I’m packing my suitcase today for a week of snowboarding and skiing in the Czech Republic. It will be my first time snowboarding and I’m really looking forward to it. We bring a GoPro with us so we can film some beautiful shots in the mountains. Expect some blogposts about our trip when we get back in early March.

Have a good weekend!

tulips portrait

New year, new goals

guitalele

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?

Our Christmas Table Setting

Christmas Table Overview

It’s Christmas Eve! I’ve been so excited for Christmas and I can’t believe it’s finally here. Tomorrow, on Christmas Day I turn 28 so our Christmas is filled with family, gifts and lots of good food. Here are the photos I took yesterday of our Christmas Table setting while testing it to see how it would look. This is how we will set our table tomorrow evening to enjoy a lovely dinner together.

I’m really happy how the table setting turned out. Green, a darkish blue and white; a perfect natural atmosphere. And being a graphic designer comes in quite handy when you’re make menu cards :). I wish you all a Merry Christmas!  
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Weekly Favorites #5

tea and chocolate in bed

While the days grow darker every day, I’m actually surprised that I’ve not been struck yet by any signs of a little winter depression. My days are even more productive than they were in summer! It sure makes me quite happy though. Here are some favorite moments from last week:

  • Best coffee/tea of the week: although I had some great coffee this week. My favorite moment was drinking this lemon tea in bed on sunday. Because sometimes staying at home and have the laziest day ever can be so good!
  • Favorite drink/food: Tony’s Chocolonely’s chocolate bars. I’ve tried the milk/discodip/popcorn for the first time and it’s incredible. Have to restrain myself from buying much more of these.
  • Best article I found on the internet: this article on BoredPanda about how the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam banned camera’s and stimulates people to sketch artwork. I think this is a really cool way to let people watch artwork more closely and more intense. Also good to help people discover their creative eye, something I can’t encourage enough as an illustrator/graphic designer.
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  • Favorite pin on Pinterest: this picture because I just love coffee scenes so much. I mean don’t you want coffee straight away when you look at this?
  • Song of the week: A Little More by Bungalow. Really great song to listen while you’re working.

Weekly Favorites #2

Coffee-bananabread-at-TOKI

Autumn is kicking in these days, we’ve had so many grey days and I really have to get used to the lack of light. The trees however look stunning with their beautiful colors against a grey sky. Here are my weekly favorites from last week.

    • Best coffee of the week:  on saturday morning after a visit to the market, we went to TOKI in Amsterdam. We drank a cappuccino and enjoyed the best banana bread with coconut. TOKI is quite new to the Amsterdam scene, but it’s already turning into one of my favorite spots. They serve coffee from Bonanza in Berlin and offer some great indie magazines to read while you sip your coffee.
    • Favorite drink/food: most definitely the banana bread at TOKI. Have to recreate this at home!
    • Best article I found on the internet: this article about an illustrator who illustrates the literal meanings of idioms in a cute and funny way.
    • Favorite pin on Pinterest: this table setting. I love to have cozy dinners like these while it’s getting colder and darker outside.


  • Song of the week: Awake by Tycho, I really love this ambient music with some soft electronic touches.

Weekly Favorites

portrait coffeeI have been thinking for a while now about a weekly item to blog about, something that I could stick to instead of dumping it after a week. I love looking back on my week; what were my favorite things? So I decided to share a list of the best things about what I did or discovered during the week.

  • Best article I found on the internet: this article on Bored Panda about an artist that uses nature to let his paper cuttings come to life (really love this!)
  • Favorite drink/food: hot chocolate! It’s that time of the year again. I went to Chocolate Company in Haarlem and tried a hazelnut/citrus hot chocolate, so so good!
  • Song of the week: Drag by Day Wave. Just discovered Day Wave on Spotify this week. (listen to it below)
  • Best coffee of the week: this morning I had a nice cappuccino (+tiny Tony = best Dutch Chocolate) with Rene at Portrait, my favorite concept store in Haarlem.
  • Favorite pin on Pinterest: New York Citybecause we’re going back to this amazing city in the summer of 2016!