Strolling down the second-hand market of the city I live in, I stepped upon a shiny pink skirt. At first, I was hesitant to buy it. I was afraid that the color wouldn’t look good on me. But after I saw the opening on the sides and realized that the skirt was as good as new I decided to give it a try. After I washed it I tried it on and started making outfits. I discovered that this skirt is very versatile. It fits with a lot of items of my closet.
On these series of pictures, I show you how I style the skirt in two different outfits. The pictures were made by the photographer Celia Alma from @thelightboxtales
What I´m wearing:
Shirt and skirt // Second-hand from the market
Shoes // Vegan Dr. Martens
What I´m wearing:
Shirt // Organic Basics Use this code to get 20% discount: OBxsimmonds20 Shop here
Skirt // Second-hand from the market
Jacket // Refurbished leather from Pelechecoco
Shoes // Vegan Dr. Marten
Sleep is very important for health. Everyone has heard about it. But when life gets busy, sleeping is the first thing to get sacrificed. This is actually very bad. Good sleep is as important as eating healthy and exercising. While we are sleeping, the body is working hard maintaining the immune system and metabolic function, processing the day’s memories and maintaining normal body weight, is rebuilding muscles that have been worn down during the day and is cleaning away harmful plaques and waste that is produced in the brain.
Sleep is also essential for the mind and emotions. Being sleep deprived can increase your emotional response to negative feelings by 60%. A lack of sleep makes it difficult for the body to regulate appetite, the immune system, good metabolic function and the ability to maintain normal body weight. Sleep plays an important role in regulating the circadian rhythm (AKA internal clock). This clock runs on a 24-hour schedule and regulates when you feel awake and sleepy. Not sleeping long enough, sleeping at odd times of the day and exposure to bright light at night may throw off this inner clock and the many processes it regulates.
The goal of this week is to sleep between 7 and 9 hours per night. If for you is really a challenge, start out by going to bed every day 15 minutes earlier than normal until you reach your wished night time.
Hopefully, you will join me on this week’s focus. If so, let’s connect on Instagram and exchange tips on how to go to bed earlier.
On this new series, I will be showing you my outfits. Most of the clothes you will see are second-hand or from sustainable brands.
Fashion is a very polluting industry. But As conscious consumers, we can reduce the environmental cost of fashion. For example by choosing for sustainable brands instead of fast fashion ones. By choosing for eco-friendly fabrics instead of synthetic ones and my favorite: by choosing to buy second-hand! Second-hand shopping is more kind to the environment because the garment has already been produced. It gives the item a longer life and it prevents it from landing in landfills.
Second-hand shopping has become part of my lifestyle. Every time I need a ‘new’ piece of clothes, I first go to one of the shops I listed below. If I can’t find what I need, I look for a new piece from a sustainable brand.
Here is my sustainable outfit of the week. The pictures are taken by the photographer Celia Alma from @thelightboxtales
What I´m wearing:
Body, pants, jacket, shoes // Second-hand from a charity shop
We all know how important exercise is. When you exercise on a regular basis your health starts to improve. Your heart gets stronger, your circulation gets better, your condition strengthens, you feel better and look better.
If you haven’t exercised in a while finding the motivation and time to start is always a struggle. Since I became a stay-home-mom ten months ago, I find it very challenging to find time to do exercise. My baby asks for a lot of attention and as soon as I get some time off, I rather cook, rest, read, write. Anything but working out. But, I want to change this. I remember from my times when I did exercise on a regular basis how satisfied and full of energy I felt. Exercising to me is a way of nourishing my body. Is a way to disconnect and release stress. To be honest, I don’t have the motivation to go to a gym. But I do have space in my house and a computer to watch fitness videos. The goal for this week is to make space on two days to work out for 20 minutes. If you have a gym membership, use this week’s focus to finally go back to it. Leave the shame behind and just do it. And if you don’t have the time or money to go to the gym, make the time for two days of this week to work out from home. After this goal is achieved let’s add exercise to our weekly routine.
Hopefully, you will join me on this week’s focus. If so, let’s connect on Instagram and exchange tips on how to find the motivation to start exercising.
“You have to exercise, or at some point you’ll just break down.” Barack Obama
Walking has a lot of health benefits. It strengthens the heart, burns calories, eases joint pain, it reduces the risk of developing a cold, it helps to improve your mood, it helps to clear your head, it helps you think creatively… Walking seems like a great habit we can easily do to boost our health. The best of all is that is for free!
During this week, make time to go for a walk after dinner. Start the first day with 10 minutes. Add every day 5 more minutes until you reach 30 minutes. This week, try to be more conscious about walking. If you use public transport to go where you need to go, step out one or two stations before and walk the rest. If you work in an office, go for a walk during the lunch break. If you live close to your work, walk instead of using the bike one day of this week. When you are outside walking, don’t listen to music. Put away your phone and any distraction. Walk mindfully. Looking around, taking in the fresh air.
The goal of this week is to walk every day. If you like the benefits of walking, you can add walking into your daily routine. You can park (your car or bike) farther away from your office than usual and walk the rest. Consider walking instead of driving when you run errands. You can complete your tasks and fit in exercise at the same time.
Meditation is a skill. Learning to meditate is like learning any other skill. It takes practice to get comfortable. Meditation is training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. Is not about trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings. Is about learning to observe your thoughts without judgment. Is about having thoughs but consciously decide not to interact with them.
When you meditate on a regular basis, you start to be more mindful. Mindfulness is the ability to be present, to rest in the here and now. To be fully engaged with whatever you are doing at the moment.
Meditating on a regular basis has its benefits. It helps to reduce stress, it controls anxiety, enhances self-awareness, lengthens attention span, promotes emotional health, generates kindness…
The goal of this week is to start meditating one day of the week for 10 minutes. If the first day goes well, then do it again the next day. Continue to do so, until the end of the week. If you have never meditated before, I recommend you to start with a guided meditation. For example the app ‘Headspace’. The free version has a 10-day basic guided meditation course. You can start with that course and see how you like it. The goal is to incorporate meditation into your daily routine. Personally, I prefer to meditate first thing in the morning. You can search which time feels better for you. But take 10 minutes from your day and do the practice. The ultimate goal would be to finish the 10-day course, but as a starter, let’s focus on the beginning. From there we can decide to continue and finish the course.
Sometimes your focus will wander or you’ll forget to follow your breath. That’s OK. It’s part of the experience. What’s most important is to meditate consistently. It’s one of those things where the journey is more important than the destination.
A clean house is the best way to start the day. It creates a good atmosphere which affects your mood in a positive way. But with our busy life and a full schedule, we might not feel like cleaning as soon as we have a spot free. Luckily, it can be an easy task to do. I have gathered for you some easy and effective tips:
Set the timer for 20 minutes every night. Clean as much as you can during that time. You will be surprised.
Clean the kitchen after every meal. Wash the dishes, or organized them in the dishwasher. Wipe the table and the surfaces with a wet towel.
Use baking soda, vinegar, and lemon to clean everything.
Make it teamwork. Divide the work with your roommate so it doesn’t feel that you are doing everything alone.
Use that time to listen to a podcast. From sustainability to parenting and personal growth there are some great podcasts to listen to.
Declutter your house on a regular basis. The fewer things you have, the less time you have to spend cleaning.
Have a home for all the things in your house. When you use something, bring it back to its place right away.
Fill a spray bottle with half water, half all-purpose cleanser. Put it in the bathroom. Spray every night after brushing your teeth and wipe it clean with a towel. You can do the same in the kitchen and spray the surfaces every night.
As a summary: do it regularly, make it more enjoyable, involve your roommates/kids and declutter on a regular basis.
Happy new year! 2019 is officially here. Instead of setting New Years Resolutions, this year I have decided to set a different focus per week. By doing this, I will give myself the opportunity to challenge myself, create new habits and try new things. Little steps work better for me. I feel a sense of achievement after a goal is accomplished which keeps me motivated to continue pursuing my goals.
For 2019 I want to keep on developing mentally and spiritually. I want to be more conscious of the present andchange some habits that don’t bring any value to my life. Week after week, I will share the goal that I am going to focus on. Hopefully, you will like to join me too. Let’s share our experiences and give each other tips on this journey to a more mindful life.
The Focus of the First Week of 2019 is: Cleaning
The first week of the year is going to be all about cleaning. A clean house is the best way to start a new year. It creates a pleasant ambiance which affects your mood. Making you feel happier, clutter-free and even more creative.
During this week, find one day of the week and clean all of the rooms. One by one. Organize, swipe the superficies with a wet towel, vacuum-clean, mop the floor and go to the next room. Take extra time in the bathroom to wash the walls of the shower. Also in the kitchen, clean the sink and the faucet.
Personally, I prefer to clean all the house in one day. But since I became a mother it has been a challenge to find the time to clean all at once. For me, it works better to clean the house divided by days. For this focus, the goal is to clean the house and maintaining it. Making cleaning the house once per week easier and quicker.
Christmas is just around the corner. This is the most joyous season filled with family, friends, and food. And let’s not forget about presents. If you want to make this Christmas year a more special, try giving an experience instead of a physical thing. The research proves it, experiences makes you happier than things. I have gathered some ideas for you. Here they are:
High-tea: Invite a friend to spend a couple of hours with you while eating the tastiest cakes, scones, and cookies.
Brunch: If the person you are giving the gift is not a sweets lover, going for brunch is a better option than high-tea. This gift is a great option to catch up and spend time together. My favorite brunch place in the city I live in is Het Lokaal.
Ice skating: Invite a friend or your group of friend for an ice skating afternoon. Grab your favorite scarf, gloves, and hat and enjoy the day in the ice.
Museum tickets for two: Get cultural and go to a museum with a friend.
Movie tickets for two: Is there a new movie coming out? Go watch it with your BFF. At the cinemas, you can grab some candy, popcorn and invite the drinks.
Bowling: Invite your family or group of friends to a bowling night.
Escape room: The best experience to see the personalities of your friends while having fun solving riddles.
Yoga/Dance/Sport passes for a month. Depending on the interests of your friend you can give a monthly pass to their favorite activity. It can be yoga, Zumba, CrossFit, hip hop etc.
Wellness day for two: Spend the day with your friend or partner relaxing in the sauna. Or chilling in the swimming pool.
Facial: A great gift to pamper someone you love. My favorite beauty salon is Frank and Olive.
Cooking classes: Take a class with a friend or partner and learn how to cook a different type of cuisine.
Musical classes for a month: Has your friend or partner wanted to learn how to play a musical instrument? Surprise them with a month of classes. Book the best piano teacher in Amersfoort here.
Photoshoot: Give your friends pictures they would like to hang in their living rooms. Starting at €50 you can book this talented photographer.
Food subscription box for a week: Give your friend a time-off from going to the supermarket by giving a meal box. Try for example the vegan box.
Second-hand shopping gift card: Give your friend a gift card to buy second-hand designers clothes. For example from The Next Closet. Choose your own amount, add a personal message and contribute to a more sustainable world. Order it here.
Everyone knows about Hello Fresh and Marley Spoon. A weekly box with recipes and the exact amount of ingredients you need. The vegan box has the same principle but they only make plant-based recipes.
This box is ideal for busy people who want to eat healthier and more plant-based, but do not have the time to find it all out for themselves. With the box in the house, you can immediately go into the kitchen and follow the recipes. Most of the recipes take between 30 and 40 minutes.
Last week I received my first box and I was positively surprised. The box arrived on a Tuesday night. That same day I received a message from PostNL with the time of delivery within a time window of one hour. In case you are not home, you can ask the postman to leave the box at one of your neighbors or even under the chair of the front garden.
Quickly I unpacked the bags and everything looked neat and fresh. The box contained three vegan recipes with the exact amount of ingredients for two people. Most of them were organic. And what I liked a lot, is that most ingredients are wrapped in paper. My box only had a few ingredients wrapped in plastic.
From the recipes, I started with the gyros from the brand Vleesch Noch Visch. Normally, I don’t eat much meat replacements. But this gyros I will definitely like to eat again. The tzatziki made the dish very tasty. This recipe was the easiest of the box to make. The next recipe was a yellow curry with crispy cauliflower. Curries are one of my favorite dishes. With this recipe, I learned how to make it different from how I normally cook it. The crispy cauliflower was a nice touch. I will use it for wraps or tacos as well.
The last recipe of the box was the one I was, in the first place, the less enthusiastic about. But this one surprised me the most: Pearl couscous with roasted pumpkin and cranberries. This was absolutely my personal favorite of the box. I never tasted a dish like this before.
The vegan box is a great initiative to help people that want to start with a vegan lifestyle but don’t know how. The meals are well balanced with grains, protein, and vegetables. I hope you get inspired and give a try to the vegan box. For more information check https://veganbox.nl