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Saturday Blog Share #4

Hi, Hey, Hello. Long time no see. How has everyone been doing? I'm so sorry for not having been online all that much. I know it's not really an excuse, but I hit a total slump this week. I wasn't up for anything and I have so many half-assed drafts in my post from this week alone that it's kind of crazy. And then yesterday was all but a lost day as my best friend got the news that her father was worsening and it was all just terribly sad and awful. If you are reading this, I hope you are doing ok. So yeah anyway, I thought why not share a bit of positivity in between a lot of sadness by sharing a few of my favorite reads from the last couple of weeks. It's been ages since I did a post like this. Time to share the love.

I loved reading about how living in another culture can change you.

Racism is still a thing today. We should all just embrace who we are.

How to drag yourself out of a slump.

These photos are the best thing about mornings.

Olivia shared some amazing restaurants in The Hague and Rotterdam that I'm dying to try out.

Blogging is not as glamorous as people think.

We can all be an Everyday princess.

30 things to say yes to for the best day of your life. And a few things to say no to too.

I definitely belong to this Granny Generation as Emma puts it.

These tips on finding your dream job are so helpful!

This post proves that it's perfectly ok to be single and a spinster.

Rhianna shared a guide to Google Analytics and it's been entirely helpful.

It's nice and refreshing to read something purely happy for once.

But at the same time it's also important to show a different side of life in blogging: sadness and loss.

I desperately want to visit Cinque Terre again after reading this beginner's guide.

I hope you'll have enough to read after this. I had so many awesome reads saved up for this that it turned in a long one. I hope you'll enjoy. Lastly, I'll leave you this super cute video my mum found on Facebook. I don't know if you've seen it, but it's seriously cute.

Have a lovely weekend. Tell me how your week has been in the comments.

My Favourite Love Stories

I kind of ran out of time yesterday, so instead this post is going up a day after Valentine's Day. Sorry about that. How have you all been?

Happy Day after Valentine's Day. If you don't like your standard typical cheesy Valentines post you should probably stop reading. I love love stories and Valentine's Day is just a day to celebrate those stories. I'm embarrassed to admit that I like reading these kind of posts, though I honestly don't think I ever celebrated Valentine's Day before. I've never had a card from an admirer or had a boyfriend I could spend the day with. And I'm totally fine with that. I love being single, but that doesn't mean that I can't dream of having the perfect relationship. Which is why I thought why not share a couple of my favourite love stories. These are the kinds of romances that I would want for myself.

My Parents
In my opinion, my parents have the perfect relationship. They met on holiday once and after that they defied all cliches: a holiday romance and long distance relationship that survived. After 22 years of marriage they are still in love, how awesome is that?  They still go on dates and weekend trips away and they never fight. I don't think they've ever grown bored of each other and I love that about them. They are probably the reason why I set my standard for a relationship so incredibly high.

Chuck and Blair from Gossip Girl
I couldn't make a list of my favourite couples without mentioning these two. I just finished the whole series a few weeks ago (I know I'm totally late on the band wagon). It's probably one of the most dramatic and crazy relationships I've come across in fiction, but honestly they do show real love. It's an epic love story. They are probably also the most good looking couple ever.

Hannah and Stef Michalak
Watch the video below and you know enough. The way in which they tell their story was amazing. I already loved their vlogs, but this made me love them even more. They are perfect together and Grayson is the absolute cutest! I've loved hearing about how they've met.

Rory and Logan from Gilmore Girls
Gilmore Girls probably comes up in almost all conversations I have. It's my favourite show in the whole wide world and I honestly feel like Rory would be my twin in an alternative world. In so many decisions that she makes I recognize myself in. This is probably also why I recognize myself in her romances too. Logan is my absolute favourite out of them all though. It's a very realistic relationship I think. I hope they will end up together in the revival. Tell me I'm not the only one?

Elizabeth Bennet & Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice
The story of Pride and Prejudice is the epitome of romance don't you think? It's not a classic love story for nothing. It's the perfect trope: a from hate to love relationship. Like with Chuck and Blair this is a story where two people start slowly changing the way they see each other. I love those kinds of stories. I wish it would happen to me, though I don't think that is very likely.

Other fictional romances:
Nastya & Josh Bennett from The Sea of Tranquality, Skylar & Josh Mitchell from I'll Meet You there, Rowan and Aelin from Throne of Glass series, Paige and Max from the Start of Me and You, Cath & Levy from Fangirl, Troy & Gabriella from High School Musical and Becca & Jess from Pitch Perfect.

Tell me your favourite love stories in the comments below. I'm pretending it's still Valentine's Day.

50 of My Favourite Blogs

This past month and a half I've been welcomed by the blogging community in the best way possible. I feel like I made connections left and right and discovered some of the most wonderful blogs in the universe. I often gush about them to my friends, even if they don't understand what I'm talking about. With this post, I can finally do something back to all those lovely people. If you are the same and love to discover new blogs, I encourage to check the ones out below. They are all seriously awesome.

It was so hard to choose only 50 blogs. I think I follow about 500 blogs on bloglovin, if it's not more, so you can imagine how hard it has been to choose only 50. There are many blogs that I love and not all have made it on the list. I might have to make another one soon. However all blogs on this list have a special place in my heart and you can be sure that I try to read these as often as I can. Out of my top 50, there are a few that have a special place in my heart and I wrote a little something extra about them. I hope you enjoy.

Emily's recipes are to die for. I have made many of them already and so far not one was a miss. A particular favourite is the recipe for Sally's Apple and Cinnamon Swirl Cake. Honestly if you ever need a simple, easy to make recipe that taste amazing, I'd 100% recommend checking out her blog. As she was a student up till a year ago, you can be sure that they are budget friendly too. Of course she also has an amazing lifestyle session.

Audrey is someone I discovered on tumblr a few years back and I've been in love with her blog ever since. Brunch at Audreys is a lifestyle and student blog and one where I'll happily be browsing for ours. She takes the most dreamy photos and is an amazing writer. She's honestly such an inspiration to me and I love to visit her blog whenever I can. She also leaves the most wonderful comments. Thank you again. Can we become blogging friends?

Rosie is the sweetest person I know and one with the most amazing blogs in the world. She's the reason I've started blogging myself and the reason I got into reading blogs at all. I can't even remember how I discovered her, but I do know that I've checked her blog daily ever since. It's been lovely to follow along with her life over the past few years. I'm embarrassed to say this, but I have honestly read every single blog post she has ever posted. And she is my all time favourite blogger.

I don't know if I'll ever be able to read all of her posts, because she has posted so many in the past few years that she's been blogging. However, whenever I have the change I love to have a scroll through Michelle's blog. Somehow whenever I visit her blog, I end up staying for hours. I've loved following along with her time in Hong Kong and I can't wait what she'll be up to when she moves back to England.

I only recently discovered this blog, but it's fast becoming an absolute favourite. Ella is such an amazing artist. I don't know what it is, but her art just touches me. Especially her Without Her series. Those drawings make me cry every single time. She's such an inspiration. I can't believe what she had to go through these past 6 month and still she keeps standing strong. Love her and her blog.

Another one of the more popular bloggers, but again an absolute dream. I can relate to everything she posts and I absolutely adore her lists. Also her fashion posts are so useful to me, since she's exactly the same size as me and has about the same body figure. I'm always struggling with what to wear and she's helped me out massively.

Oh what can I say about this blog. Every post she writes is awesome. I love to visit her blog whenever I can. It's just such a down to earth blog. She seems like the person who could be my friend in real life. And it's very refreshing to read a blog by someone who is also living alone. It's nice to have something in common.

Liza is such a lovely person. It's so awesome what she's doing, discovering the world and studying in the most unlikely places. I love reading about her experience in Abu Dhabi and now in Ghana. She's the kind of adventures person, I wish I was. And maybe I can be. Her insights on some of life's most difficult questions are very refreshing to read and I agree with her on many fronts.

Freya has an amazing blog. It must be so rewarding to have a job like she has and she captures the most beautiful things on her camera. If you've never read Freya's blog, then it's definitely the time to pay a visit now. Her photographs are to dream of. Whenever I need inspiration, I make sure I visit Nishaantishu and I come back with lots of new ideas. If I have to name a photography idol she'd be it.

What can I say about Katie's blog that hasn't already been said a million times? She's probably one of those bloggers that everyone looks up to. I certainly do. I wish I had guts like her. She writes some amazing creative pieces and the passion she has for adventure, makes me want to up and leave my own ordinary life. If you ever need to escape the slur of daily life, she's your person.

44. Snug

What Freya's blog is for photography inspiration, Amy's blog is for writing. Her writing is absolutely wonderful and I can't help but dream away with her lovely blog posts. This is the writing I wish I could do, so whimsical and beautiful. I don't think I have a feeling for it like she does though. I honestly read her blog like a book.

Tell me what your favourite blog is in the comments. I always love to discover new ones.

College-free week: Afternoon tea, friends, late evening talks and a terrible cold

As we were wrapping up my term last week, my best friend got some terrible news about her dad. I won't get into much detail about it, because I don't want to share things that have been told to me in confidence. However it's a hard time for her right now and I just want her to know that I will be there for her whenever she needs me. Obviously that news took a while to sink in with me too and it has turned this week into kind of a bitter sweet one. I had the week off from uni and spent the week full of awesome meet ups with friends and late night conversations. It has been completely lovely for me, but at the same time there has been that undertone of sadness that I can't seem to shake.

Anyway, I've had such a wonderful week other than that and I thought it would be great to share a few of my highlights. It's amazing what friendship can do and I'm truly grateful for all my friends in the way that we support each other. Just yesterday I had dinner over at my friends house and we had a deep conversation about the future and what we'd like to do after we graduate. Those are my favourite conversations, when you feel like you are really getting to know someone.

The week started out with a dinner at my house with an old friend I met on holiday once. We've been very close friends ever since, catching up whenever we can and it was lovely to have her over and share some homemade comfort food over tons of cups of tea. We are both not the drinking types and spent the whole evening drinking tea instead of wine. She's wrapping up high school right now and it's so nice to share our dreams and passions with each other. I don't have much experience with the college life yet, but I was happy to give her a few tips.

My best friends and I decided to go for an afternoon tea in Den Bosch on Monday afternoon. One of them had been there before and new a cute place that had an amazing afternoon tea. And it was true to her word. I didn't even take any pictures of the food, because it was too yummy to wait any longer. There was this treat that consisted of salmon, cream cheese and a tiny pancake that I must recreate at home. Sweet and salty and it melted in the mouth. Other than that, there was also soup served, which I guess is kind of untraditional. Of course there was also a sweet selection and a series of scones. We left so full, that we had to practically roll home.

Someone send this quote in the groups app later that day and it basically tells what I feel for these 
girls. If any of them are reading this: I'm so glad I met you guys last year and I don't know what I'd do without you. I'm sure we will be friends for a long long time. I can't wait for the adventures we'll get up to.

I didn't do much on tuesday, except change my blog design and work on a uni project all day, but I still had a great looking breakfast and I saw the most beautiful dusk from one of computer rooms in a uni building. I couldn't see it properly, but I remember thinking it was really stunning. Apparently that night saw a type of nacreous clouds, which is very rare in the Netherlands. They apparently happen once in ten years or so. I'm disappointed now that I couldn't get a better view of them at the time.

Wednesday saw a reunion with an old school friend. We went for a spot of lunch together at a really cute place in the center of town right next to the dom. I especially loved how they put a painting of the tower on the ceiling as you couldn't technically see it from inside. I love that part of town as it's all cobbles and old buildings. The old city center of Utrecht stems from the Middle Ages and it really is stunning. If you ever have a change to visit, I'd highly recommend and I could even show you around if you'd like. It was so nice to catch up with someone I hadn't see in two years and we had a good old reminisce of the high school days.

I basically didn't do anything on thursday except watch Gossip Girl on Netflix from my bed all day (I honestly think I'm in love with Nate and Chuck), but I did have floorball training in the evening and then spent a good old time afterwards at the bar with some friends playing games and drinking beer. That was fun and something I hadn't done for absolutely ages.

Sadly after that I fell ill and in fact I'm now snuggled up on the sofa with lots of tea and tissues. Everyone seems to be getting the cold these days and I'm definitely having a case of one that seems to be around in February every year. I'm doing all I can to combat it though: cough drops, tea, honey. It's hardly working so far, but I'm hoping I'll get there with loads of warm beverages, soup and tissues. If any of you have any other tips, I'd appreciate them greatly!

I think tonight calls for an early night, but I had a really fun week. How has yours been?

A Year of Challenges: February

How is everyone doing this fine day? I feel like I might be catching a cold, but other than that exciting things are happening. I'm starting a photography course next week and I also have an interview for a summer volunteering job that I'm very excited about. The year is shaping along nicely and I can't wait what it has in store for us. As I talked about before (in this post as a matter of fact), this year I wanted to do something a little different with my New Years resolutions. No one ever keeps them and most have already given up by now, me included. Instead I thought it would be a good idea to set myself a challenge each month and focus on one thing at the time. It seems a little more sensible and like we will actually reach something this year.

My January challenges were to do the 30 day Yoga Camp and to  have a go at daily blogging. They were both quite though to manage in the end and if I'm honest I didn't keep either of them. That is  however something I told myself before hand that I was not going to stress about. It's ok when I skip a day. That mindset made it a lot more enjoyable overall and I managed to get 23 out of 31 blogposts up and 26 out of 30 yoga videos done. That is still an achievement I can be proud of if I say so myself. I honestly feel like I might be able to keep blogging and doing yoga more frequently throughout this year.

For February I struggled to come up with one thing to focus on. I have so many things that I want to work on, that it got hard to choose. In the end I went for two things that were most urgent to me.

  • Write my thoughts down in a notebook every night before I go to sleep. I feel like I'm not keeping track on what I'm feeling and thinking. I find it hard to express myself at times and I don't give enough time to my own ideas and feelings to develop. It's important to express yourself and to get your thoughts out of your head sometimes. I thought writing it all in a note book would be a good place to start.
  • The other goal is to cut down on sugar. I'm all about my sweet tooth. I don't know what I'd do without chocolate and other sweets. The difficult thing about sugar is that it's in almost everything. Now a few weeks ago my dentist said I really need to work on eating less sugar, because I've started to get teeth decay and I need to get fillings. I don't want my teeth to get even worse and I definitely need to give this a try. He also said that your teeth can handle about 6 intakes of sugar per day. I'm going to try and keep to that.
Yeah so this is what I'm going to be focussing on. I've already stopped putting sugar in my tea. I think that's a big improvement I already made. Habits don't turn around in a day, so trying for a month feels like a good place to start. Here's to February!

Did you set yourself any goals for this month? 

The Secrets to My New Design

So what do you think? I changed my design this week and I'd love to know what you think of it. Too you have any recommendations on how to make it better?

I had a bit of time this week to spend on my blog and I thought I should maybe change my design. I haven't been satisfied with my old design for a while and with everyone changing up their own designs. I felt like the old one was starting to become a little bit boring and not in line with what everyone else was doing. Everyone's blogs have been looking so sleek lately and a lot of them have adopted some kind of grid style and sliders at the top. Now I don't want that for my blog, but I thought it would be time to take a step forward with my design. So, I had a little look around on Etsy and through Michelle's blog I found a shop called MangoBlogs. I first wanted to do something very similar to the others, but in the end I wanted to go for something more me. And I fell for this lovely design that in my opinion looks slightly different then what everyone has, but is still in the same kind of trend.

So what changed over here?

  • I updated my contact page and added a contact form. If you want to send me anything, feel free to do so. I got a code for the form over on I can built a blog and that was really useful.
  • I also updated my about page. You can find it here. Pictures still need to be added, but I'm having trouble with self portraits, so that is going to be a bit of a problem. I just don't like taking photos of myself, but if you have any tips on that front, they'd be very welcome!
  • What I really liked about this new layout is the instagram style grid at the top that shows my most recent posts. I don't know why, but I just really like it. It's very minimalistic and clean, but in a nice way. I do feel like I want to add a little more me still, but I feel like that will happen slowly as I try to better my photographs. Or if you guys have any better ideas? I'd love some advice.
  • I love reading blogs by just being able to scroll through, which is why I wanted mine to still have that.
  • So yeah, that's about everything. I had no idea it took so much work to redesign my blog, even with help from others. I guess it's time to get back to writing posts again now. I have a few on the agenda over the next few days. And I can't wait to get back to writing.
How have you all been? I've been really good and currently watching the end of Gossip Girl.

January Favourites

I've been absent from this blog for the past few days. I'm so sorry! I planned to blog every day in January, but sadly that didn't work out in the last week. The semester at uni was wrapping up and I had a big project to finish up and an exam. I didn't have any time to blog even if I really wanted to. But instead, this coming week I'm ready to be back and kick some blogging ass. I have a week off now and I plan to spent lots of my time in bed blogging.

Today marks the end of January. I can't believe that is already 1/12 of the year gone. I'm afraid that this year is going to be a hard one, especially for a few people very close to my heart. I'm going to support them whenever I can, but it's bound to be though. Hopefully this year will still bring some fun times too, starting with a trip to Lisbon in April and hopefully a volunteering job in summer. Let's start with some lifestyle and beauty favourites from the month January though.

I have been needing lots of skincare this month, because my skin has been so dry. I've been using Decubal body lotion and face cream (not pictured) since last year and have been in love with it ever since. It's everything free and is very creamy and soft on my skin. I love it. My skin is very sensitive and I'm allergic to most scented brands and to have a brand that is free of everything is perfect for me.

Of course with winter also comes dry and chapped lips and for that my lifesavers have been the labello soft rose lip balm and Sudocrem for my inflamed corners of my mouth that have been particularly annoying this month.

My Quick go-to makeup routine this month have been a quick coat of the Benefit Roller Lash Mascara and a dash of Sin from my Naked Palette on my eyelid. I've had both these products for a few good months now and I honestly could not live without them. They're so easy to use and the quality of both is amazing. I love all the colours from my Naked Palette, but Sin is a particular favourite. It really brightens up the eye and the colour and shine on it is amazing.

I also managed to pick up a new perfume this month from my local drugstore. They had a sale of all the testers, which means that you can get amazing brands for a really good price. Some of them are almost full and others are a little bit emptier. The one I picked was a perfect scent for me and the bottle was almost full even when the price was reduced for almost 50%. and I picked this lovely one up for only 25 quid. Such a bargain and it smells amazing too.

My favourite book that I've been reading this month will have to be Is Everyone Hanging out Without me by Mindy Kaling. I picked it up on a shopping spree in amsterdam and have been reading a chapter from it every night. I just pick and go with what I fancy each day and don't follow the chapter line. I've never read a book like that before, but I really like it. Mindy is such an amazing, funny woman and I want her to be my best friend.

This stationary has been the love of my life this month and all of it has been christmas presents from my parents. It's all from the dutch magazine Flow, which is a magazine on mindfulness and happy living. They had some kind of package full of awesome notebooks, a diary, a calendar and many more things. I got it all for christmas and it's amazing! There is a calendar full of tiny pleasures and I also got tons of notebooks and a really awesome diary (all pictured above). The diary is a particular favourite, because it resembles my moleskin one from last year, but way quirkier.

This was my first favorites post. What do you think? And what did you particularly love this month?
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