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Photographs from Easter weekend

This weekend has been such a chilled one. I haven't had one in so long, that the concept has become completely foreign to me. Normally I end up working Friday and Saturday and using Sunday to catch up on uni work I didn't do during the week. But not this time. Since it was Easter weekend I had an extra day to catch up on all my course work and by some miracle I managed to get Saturday off from work. Now that it's back to the sad world of deadlines and exams for me, I thought why not linger a bit longer in the beauty of the last couple of days.

My weekend started on Friday, when I took the car up to Utrecht for my first Easter brunch of the weekend. I was on the organization committee, which meant I had to be there in person. Everyone was supposed to bring something of their own and this resulted in a spread full of amazing food.  I came home so full, that I don't think I ate anything for the rest of the day. Can I also just say that I love driving own my own. I love that there is no one around to shame you when you listen to the most cheesy radio stations and burst into songs at the top of your voice.

On Saturday I did all the things that I don't normally have time for. I managed to pick up a lovely spring dress and a really nice pair of jeans, we did some food shopping for our easter dinner the next day and I managed to catch some of my brothers football game that I hadn't been to in ages. And then when I got home I also attempted to bake a batch of hot cross buns. Can you believe I never had any before this weekend? They turned out amazingly and we munched them right down during brunch the next day. I don't know why I left them so long to try though.

And then it was Easter Sunday. My mum and I woke up really early to go to church. I definitely don't go every week, but it feels like I should when it's holidays like Christmas and Easter. It's a good reminder of what Easter weekend is about, instead of it only being about food and chocolate. Even if I don't consider myself proper religious, I do like the calmness of a morning spent in church. It's nice to think about something other then every day life once in a while. When we came home, my dad and brother, had laid out a whole spread of food including bread, hot cross buns, scrambled eggs, cooked eggs, tea, orange juice and so on.

The rest of the day was reserved for family time. It was my nephew's third birthday. He is one of the cutest kids I've ever seen. I'd love to cuddle him all day long. With the excuse of taking photos for my photography course, I managed to shoot a few very cute pictures of him and his older brother. And then after that my grandparents came home with us to have a lovely easter dinner.

This weekend has been one of the most relaxing ones I've had in a while. And the best thing was that we had the Monday still left. I ended up working on my paper all day long, but at the end of the day my mum and I ventured out for a cold, windy walk though. You can see how stormy it was in the pictures below. It was a beautiful path though. Definitely somewhere to return to once we get to go on dog walks again. Though the dog shouldn't love swimming, because that could go wrong with water on either side.

How was your Easter weekend? Did you manage to relax a little? I know how tons of students will probably be head over heels in exam stress, just like I am from now on, but I hope you are ok and manage to relax in between too. I'm going to have a bath now and then I'm going back to working on my essay.

Recently ... {In Verbs}

I'm sorry I haven't been active on the blog as of late. Because I haven't had the change to catch up with you in ages, I thought I would write a bit of a catch up post. This time in the form of verbs. I felt like changing things up a bit. Plus my goal from now on is to write a bit more frequently, but about the smaller things in life. More of a diary of sort, without much thought given to topics to write about. I want to start being a bit more spontaneous with this spot on the internet. I figured this would be a good place to start. Enjoy.

EATING warm homemade apple pie.

DRINKING coffee. I used to only drink tea, but lately coffee is starting to grow on me, especially a good cappucino mid-morning.

READING Summer Skin. It's a steamy new adult, with lots of positive feminism and real life. It's probably one of my favourite books I've ever read.

WATCHING youtube videos. I'm currently obsessed with the videos the Michalaks are putting up. I'm in love with the way they film and take notice of the little moments. I look forward to watching them every Sunday.

PLANNING my summer. Everything is gearing up for it to be one of the best summers I've had in a long time. There might even be a sneaky road trip happening with my best girls.

BAKING hot cross buns for Easter Sunday tomorrow. It's the first time I've made them. I'm very curious and slightly anxious about how they are going to turn out. Fingers crossed.

ANTICIPATING a cake and coffee catchup with my best friend on Tuesday. I can't wait to catch up.

CRAVING summer fruit. Cherries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches. I can't wait to pick them up by the bucking load when they are in season.

LISTENING TO Oh Wonder's debut album. Ever since beingintroduced to them by Katy, I can't seem to stop listening.

LEARNING about the way our brains work. There is a very interesting tv show on right now.

WEARING my favourite combination of jeans, shirt and cardigan.

BUYING spring dresses. I picked up a really cute green dotted dress, perfect for easter this weekend and I'm in love with it.

WISHING FOR this term to be over so I can go on holiday to Lisbon with my best friend. It's going to kick ass and I'm so excited.

CHOOSING to be more present in every day life and make the most of the quiet moments.

TRYING to get my head down and actually get that essay written.

THINKING that I should do yoga more often, because it's the most relaxing thing ever and I haven't done it for weeks.

BELIEVING that everything happens for a reason.

DREAMING of hazy summer evenings spent with best friends over a fire and with a glass of rose in hand.

ENJOYING a long easter weekend with the family. After a busy couple of weeks and weekends it is good to relax in good company for a few days.

DECIDING to be more present.

ADMIRING the way my best friend is dealing with the loss of her dad. She has been such an inspiration for a lot of people over the last months and I'm honestly so proud of her.

Let's Talk: #BrusselsAttacks

The first thing I do in the morning when I get out of bed is turn on the radio. I was eating breakfast in bed this morning when I heard the news about the terrorist attacks. Apparently there had been two explosions and Brussels airport and later another one was reported at a metro station. I kept the radio on all day.  There is one feeling that overrules the rest: sadness. Sadness for what the world has become and for the way that humans treat other humans. Where is this going to end?

What happened today feels extremely personal, which is a pretty irrational feeling. For one it didn't happen in my own country, I don't know anyone who has been affected and most importantly I wasn't there. However, I am a European citizen, Belgium is my neighbour, it even belonged to the Netherlands for a short amount of time, the attack happened within 200 km of my hometown and it's an attack on my freedom as a European citizen.

Last year I travelled on my own through Europe for a few weeks. I did everything myself, from hostels to travel to food. I felt like such a grown up. Like I was ready to conquer the world and nothing would hurt me. But then Paris happened and the world became a scarier place. A place where I might not be as free as I sometimes wish I am. Europe is my playground, a place I'm lucky to call home and that is mine to discover. I feel at home. It is my home. I know all the good places to visit, I speak quite a few languages and I know my way around. This attack and the attack on Paris last year is an attack on my home and that scares the crap out of me.

I know you hear tons of arguments all around us, telling us that what happens in Syria is way worse than the sporadic terrorist attack that happens in the Western World and that it's unfair that the western events get more attention then all the other horrible events that happen day in day out all over the world. And that is true, but I can only think of one reason why that is the case. It's the fact that the attacks that happen here, affect us, me, personally. It affects my home and my way of living and that feels more important then something that happens thousands of kilometers away. It's completely logical that an event like this, happening only 200 km from where I live, gets more media coverage and attention.

The key word here is home. It's like when you hear on the news that someone has died in a car accident. It won't affect you much, but when you attend your best friend's dad funeral, it will affect you a lot. It's the same with this. The prime minister of Belgium talked about the attacks in Dutch, my native tongue. I'm used to hearing about attacks through subtitles, but when you hear talk about them in your native tongue, it comes that much closer.

I don't want to lose my freedom. I want to feel safe in my own home. I want a Europe that is good and safe and nice. I want to be happy here. I don't want a war. And last but not least I want people to stop attacking other people.

Let me send out my prayers to all in Belgium. To those who have been affected or whose loved ones are affected. It's a day of mourning. Thank god everyone I know is safe, but that can't be said for everyone.

I just wanted to share some personal views on the Brussel attacks. I'm sorry if it's not my usual upbeat content. How have you experienced today? Do you understand where I'm coming from?

My Spring To-Do List

Spring is upon us! And why not celebrate that fact with a to-do list? This season always seems to fly by and this one is also about to be packed. With this list I hope to make the most of it.

1. Visit Anne Frank House
My mum and I have had plans to visit Anne Frank's house for a few years now. It's one of those places that everyone needs to visit at least once in their lifetime. I have no excuse not to go with living only 30 minutes away.

2. Go to the beach
With a bit of luck the sun will be shining and we will get a good 'blow out'. 

3. Buy a really thoughtful present for my granddad's coming birthday
He's turning 80 next week. And I just really want to get him something special as he deserves it. If anyone has any good ideas?

4. Travel to Lisbon
A trip my best friend and I have planned for April. I'm so excited!

5. Buy flowers to cheer up my home

6. Start up a new Tumblr blog
Ever since Audrey talked about having a secret tumblr blog, I've desperately wanted to start up a new one myself.

7. Go on a sunrise/sunset walk
I'm doing a photography course right now and golden hour is the best time to take photos. I want to make the most of it and actually seek them out.

8. Discover new coffee shops
As someone who is a creature of habit, I normally just go to my local Starbucks to work, but there are supposed to be some really good coffee shops around here that I need to get to know a little bit better.

9. Plan a weekend completely free
I normally work on weekends and go to uni during the week, but this means that I hardly have any days where I do absolutely nothing. I'd love to have a few days completely off-duty and use it to go exploring.

10. Learn to do Portret photography
Hopefully I will learn this in my photography course, but it's something I'd love to get better at.

11. Plan something fun for Mother's Day
In the Netherlands mother's Day is actually the third Sunday of May instead of March like the british seem to have?

12. Speak up in class
One of my biggest issues and something I'd love to get better at.

13. Spend quality time with my best friends
After such a hard time for all of us, I think we are in dire need of some fun days out and about together.

14. Just be there for my best friend
Because that's what's most important right now. 

What are your plans for spring?

Goodbye February & Welcome March

There is only one way to describe February this year and that is bittersweet. Dark days have turned just a little bit brighter with the sun shining through now and again. It gets little lighter every day. It's one of those things that makes me indescribably happy. But at the same time it's still often dark and miserable outside. When it comes to January and February they can become quite lonely right? I've really felt the blues this month.

I can't wait to feel the heat of the sun on my back again and smell the scent of freshly cut grass that always seems to come with springtime. I'm sorry to say, but I'm glad that February has come and gone and we can make our way towards spring. March will be crazy, but it looks like it's going to be better than February has been so far.

This past month I've learned how short life can be. We all secretly expect to live to be eighty right? Well that isn't necessarily going to happen. We all think we have an eternity to live and that things can wait. But when you watch someone die at the age of 50 you suddenly realize that life will end one day and it might come sooner than you expect it to. That thought scares the crap out of me. The days turn by so quickly and before you know it days turn into weeks and years. Before I know it, in the blink of an eye, my college days will be over and all that will be left are the memories of a time that has come. Will I regret the opportunities that I didn't take?

Maybe this blog will be a good way to counteract that feeling of missing out. This place has a way of making me think more about the present time. Instead of just living life on auto pilot, this blog has me thinking of my experiences more. I really really want to take more time to write on here. I miss it and it often makes me feel so much better.

Another thing I learned this month is that being able to support someone is a lovely feeling. It feels like I finally found something that can help, even if it's just a little. I'm talking about supporting my best friend. She and her family are going through an extremely difficult time right now. Her father has been on a sickbed for more than a week now and life is slowly but surely leaving him. It's incredibly sad to watch. For the longest time I felt like there wasn't anything I could do and it made me feel like crap, but she asked me and a few other friends if we wanted to visit and I went twice last week. It's been really good to have been and I feel a little bit lighter now, knowing that it made them very happy to see me. I finally feel like I could do something, even if it's just a little bit. Does that make sense?

As you can see, it has been a difficult month around here, but I've also had a lot of lovely moments: I've made tons of new friends this month, I joined the activity committee of my sports club and I discovered the amazingness that is cinnamon buns. I also started a new photography course and finished the entire series of Gilmore Girls. I also redownloaded my Tinder again this weekend. I feel slightly embarrassed about that fact, but it has given me an extreme ego boost. Sometimes you just need that right?

I really hope that March is going to be better. Bring on Spring! Tell me how your February has been in the comments. I love to know.

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