Going on a trip to Denmark

We’re leaving to spend a week in Denmark. Rene is switching jobs so that leaves us with some extra weeks of vacation (yay!) Follow me on Instagram for some recent updates. See you soon!

Denmark

 

 

A day in Shoreditch

Shoreditch is a neighbourhood in London which you could describe in a few words; urban, industrial buildings, street art, a great selection of hip shops, restaurants and coffee shops. You’ll get the idea. We wandered through the streets of Shoreditch for a whole day when we were in London admiring the graffiti and fell in love with all the pretty shops. SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCWe discovered this place called The Albion. It’s a cafe and small shop and their interior looks wonderful! They offer a great selection of food and drinks so a must visit.

SONY DSCQuite near the Albion we found a shop called Labour And WaitThey sell a great collection of simple and clean designed home ware products.aesopAnother recommendation is the Aesop shop in Shoreditch. They have amazing skin care products and their store has such a lovely interior.SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSince Shoreditch is quite old there are a lot of beautiful historical buildings and houses everywhere. I could totally see myself living in this area!SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCYou can find a lot of graffiti in Shoreditch made by great artists (like Banksy).

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Goodbye June, Hello July

Summer officially started, we went to London, spent a week in the North of the Netherlands, I sold a bunch of designs. Yes, it was a good month on many fronts. Here are some favorite shots I took with Instagram in June.

deskWe got a new desk! It was homemade by my father in law and wood stained by me. Rene and me are so happy with this workspace, we can now both work without poking each other.cherries on the beachcherries
The season of cherries started and I was totally fine with that.
at the parents Spending the week at both our parents places looks something like this. It was good to take a break from things and see the parents a little more than usual. My mum made us some pancakes!
peonies London HousesFlowers in London
These houses were one of the first houses we saw in London. We stayed at a hostel across the street from the British Museum and the neighbourhood (Bloomsbury) was filled with nice houses and cute flowers.Interior Freestate CoffeeHyde ParkHanging out in Hyde Park on a beautiful sunny day.Daunt BooksIf only all the bookstores looked like this! We paid a visit to Daunt Books which was by far one of the most beautiful bookstores I’ve ever seen.Rene at the Tate Britain

Museums are free to visit in London which I totally love! They depend fully on donations and I think that is way better than asking an entry fee. We visited a whole bunch of cool museums and gallery’s like Tate Britain where we really liked the round stairs.St Paul's Cathedral

Walking toward the St. Paul’s Cathedral. Very much in love with this photo, I keep looking at it since we’re back home.

Some sightseeing in London

It’s already been two weeks since we left to enjoy London for a week. We had such a fun time in this metropole and drank so many good flat whites, enjoyed a whole bunch of museums and gallery’s and drank beers in typical English pubs. I sorted out the tons of photo’s this weekend and I’m totally ready to share them with you guys! You’re looking at the first post of the series which covers the sightseeing we did. We didn’t do this much since we love to discover the ‘undiscovered’ and less touristy things when we go on a citytrip. However you can not say you’ve been to London without seeing things like the Big Ben (also known as the Elizabeth Tower), the Tower Bridge, the Eye of London and Westminster Abbey. My favorite sight however was the St. Pauls Cathedral which really impressed me. When you’re walking away from the Eye of London towards the Tower Bridge it’s not hard to spot the beautiful dome of St. Pauls.

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The Eye of London. We’ve seen it with some really dark skies hanging above it and some nice blue skies. I prefer the blue and it is quite the eye catcher if you’re strolling along the Thames.SONY DSCbig benThe Big Ben / Elizabeth Tower is something I wanted to see for quite some years. Love the colors and details it has, mass tourism walking if you’re walking towards it though!

SONY DSCLovely shot of one of the two towers of Westminster Abbey. We walked away from the crowd and found ourselves wandering to some quiet lovely streets behind Westminster Abbey to take this shot. I recommend the little streets behind it because the houses are so cute here!SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC

A less touristy sight is St. Pancras, an international station in the heart of London. We looked this up at home before going and decided we had to see it because we both fell in love with the roof. And it sure was spectacular! SONY DSCThere are a lot of nice bridges to cross along the Thames. This was taken at the Golden Jubilee Bridge.

10520487_867951286566273_270073531_nLovely St. Paul’s Cathedral. SONY DSCSONY DSCThe Tower of London and its protecting lions.

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Me and Rene at the Tower Bridge taken by a very nice Asian tourist

Upcoming posts about London include a day in Shoreditch and a coffee guide to London’s finest flat whites.

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!

Food festival de Rollende Keukens

Last friday we went to a food festival in Amsterdam called ‘De Rollende Keukens’, in English ‘The Rolling Kitchens’. It earned that name because of the fact that it exists out of food trucks. It is an huge open air festival that offers more than 100 food trucks, music and a great atmosphere. This was the seventh edition of ‘De Rollende Keukens’ and it gets more popular every year.

We chose to go on a friday afternoon since it was lovely weather and we hoped it would not be as crowded. It was indeed not too crowded and we got hungry right away triggered by the lovely smells of food.

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We had these spicy meatballs called the ‘Bollywood Balls’ and they were amazing!

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Besides all the lovely food everywhere we also enjoyed some music. Loved the whole country style of this guy.
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I wanted to try something new so I got myself this drink. It’s chia seed lemonade made with rose water. It looked so weird.. the chia seeds made me think of tiny little fish. I kind of enjoyed the first half but when I only had chia seeds left it didn’t taste so good anymore. Would not recommend it.SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC

We had some mini doughnuts and watched them being made right in front of us. These were heavenly! By far the best doughnuts I had in quite a while.

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Rene and I were both born in Friesland, a provence in the north of the Netherlands, so we loved seeing this Frisian dude making some traditional Frisian burgers.
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Goodbye May, Hello June

Hello there June! Looking back at all the photos I took in May is such a pleasure. I discovered three themes among my photos on Instagram; Floral, Food and Coffee.
Bloomsurban gardendoors haarlembloemen atelier

Much love for all the urban gardens we came across on our walks in the city. It’s so inspiring to see how creative people can be with small gardens. The photo above with the vintage bike was taken at one of the most beautiful flower shops in Haarlem ‘Klavertje Vijf‘.

mothers day

The card I designed for Mother’s Day. It was a good design month for me, I’ve sold a couple of designs and there is much work in progress. One of my designs got featured on the homepage of Redbubble. You can have a look at some of my designs here.

smoothiepumpkin souppizzabbqsushiicecream

We made a lot of smoothies with our brand new (free) smoothie maker, had the first BBQ of the year in our garden, made pumpkin soup, had pizza and ate lots of ice cream. I made sushi for the first time and it turned out pretty well (and super delicious!).

portrait WolkersSuperfex bedroom

I was happy with finding a new old camera for our camera collection at the antique market. I also bought myself these peonies (my favorite flowers!) to celebrate the sales I made on Redbubble.

amsterdam

Oh how pretty Amsterdam looks these days. May and June are definitely the best months in Amsterdam. Flowers are in bloom, the trees are green and there are so many boats in the canals. I can walk for hours and hours besides the canals, looking at all the boats and people walking by.

I am excited for June because my parents celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary and we’re going on a trip! I will tell you more about the trip this week.

A sunday at the NDSM Docks

On sunday we went to the NDSM Docks in Amsterdam, in Dutch also known as the NDSM Werf. From Amsterdam Central Station we hopped on a ferry (free rides!) that took us over the IJ in about 15 minutes to the north of Amsterdam where the docks are located. A sign in the water tells you that the place is beyond belief and it really is. The whole area looks like an incredible movie set full of industrial buildings, some abandoned and some occupied by cool companies and cafe’s. But there is more that meets the eye. You can find lots of hidden places all around, like a city beach, old street cars, lots of graffiti and other great artworks made by talented artists.

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After walking around and discovering a little bit we dropped by Pllek for a drink. Their place consists of old sea containers in which they build a cafe and lots of places to sit. Outside they have a city beach and terrace with picknick tables. If you want to sit on the beach, you can grab a beach chair or bean bag from one of their sea containers. We grabbed ourselves two bean bags and had a drink near the water.
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Oh how I love swings, couldn’t resist this one of course!
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We ended our visit with a piece of cheesecake at Cafe Noorderlicht.cheesecake 1

How I learned to enjoy the little things in life

 

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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

 

Weekend Scenes

Weekends are for fuelling up, this was one of those weekends. We went to the saturday market to buy some local fruits and vegetables and made a smoothie. Saturday evening was spent at Bar Wolkers where we had organised an evening filled with live music. Sunday was a relaxing day spent drinking coffee, a walk in the forest and watching movies.

Today is an extra weekend day because we celebrate our freedom in the Netherlands, we did this ever since the Second World War ended. There are a lot of free festivals everywhere and the sun is out so I had a great time at the festival here in Haarlem. I think after these 3 days that I’m ready to start working again tomorrow!

How was your weekend?

DSC00005DSC00019Delicious green smoothie! Made out of pineapple, mango, avocado, almond milk and chia seeds.

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