Happy New Year!


It's the 31st of January and as I am writing this I am getting the final things done for tonight. A bit of grocery shopping as well as preparing as much of the snack-size bites as I can. Yesterday, my mom and I already started baking to have something fun to do whilst my sister was having some of her friends over. It was a nice way to spent the evening with a lot of cleaning up afterwards because there was flour EVERYWHERE. I am not kidding.

Tonight I am having a couple of friends over to celebrate New Years Eve. A relaxed evening of sitting comfortably in the living room with lots of food and drinks, chatting away and watching some films. An evening we haven't done in a while and I am so looking forward to it! Of course, we will catch something of the fireworks when the clock strikes midnight accompanied by a greasy Dutch oliebol.

I hope you are having a nice time at the moment and wish you a happy new year! Let's see what 2015 has in store for us!



What I Got For Christmas/Birthmas

Hello Sunday! The last week of 2014. You have seen me say this time and time again but wow it is all going by so fast. With Christmas just behind us, I thought it would be nice to show you what I got for Christmas as well as for my birthday on the 26th of December. This post is by no means a way to brag or to show off, but just to let you in on what I received and the thought put in it by lovely people in my life. It might even give you some ideas to give to someone else? Who knows. Anyways, done with all the talking or you know typing and let's get into the goodies:

I am very lucky and grateful for the things I have received. My parents got me a mini photostudio that I have wanted for quite some time now. I have given it a try - as you would have seen in the rest of the photos - and whilst I do need to get used to it, I believe it will benefit me and this blog of mine. A nice tool for a beginner like me. The second photo proves how unequipped I am with taking photos and how I really need to save for a better camera, but what you see is a coffee/tea maker UPPHETTA from IKEA.  I received this one from my brother who again (you may remember the Starbucks mug) put in the extra effort of walking to IKEA from the city centre of Heerlen. Next up are the Soaper Heroes by Soap & Glory containing five of its bestselling products, all in travel size. Bonnie made it quite clear early on that I would be receiving some gifts from the UK for my birthday. Very unnecessary, but oh so kind! Since we arrived at skincare let's move on to the beauty products. I cannot believe I received a lipstick from Topshop in Role Model AND one from MAC in Diva. I have had my eye on some beauty products from Topshop for quite a while, making a little list for when I would go to London or visit Bonnie in Exeter. Unfortunately, none of these plans pulled through and then I still receive this gorgeous fuchsia matte lipstick from her. Top it all of with a lipstick by MAC. Never in a million years did I think I would have something from this brand, but there it is. From my lovely sister and her boyfriend along with the Douglas Pure Lip & Cheek Tint in Dark Pink of which I already had the lighter version that you can see here.

We're almost there I promise you. Look at that quite little ceramic bird with what probably will be one of my most favourite quotes "Good friends lift you when you forget to fly" - I am very lucky to have found the friends that I have and this exemplifies exactly that fact. Of course, this was given to me by Bonnie. The last photo shows the foldable guitar stand by INNOX that my sister and her bf have given to me for my birthday. Finally I am able to safely position my acoustic guitar without being afraid it will fall and break into a million little pieces. Last but certainly not least, I received a birthday card with money from my brother as well as the gift from my parents to pay for my driving lessons. How cool is that?!

I received so much and am utterly grateful and very happy with everything. If you are reading this, thank you! What has been your most favourite gift during the holidays? In a couple of hours I will continue with the festive spirit and start preparing and baking some of the food for New Years Eve with my mom. Until next time!



From our house to yours...

Good morning, afternoon, evening or night! Wherever you are in the world and whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I want to wish you a wonderful time! If you do celebrate Christmas with whatever tradition(s) then merry Christmas to you! And last but not least, to those who have or find Christmas a terrible time for whatever reason(s), I send a lot of hugs your way!

With this post I end the Blogmas craze which I enjoyed taking part in. Thank you for taking the time to have a look at my blog every once in a while and I do hope I haven't bored you with all my Christmas-themed posts. Back to regular blogging now, although I am thinking of showing you how my family and I spend our Christmas and of course the lovely gifts I got - if you're interested. It is going to be strange to find a new routine and inspiration.

My spirit has already been lifted tremendously when I received an e-mail yesterday. After all the hard work, stress, and a resit I can finally say I passed my MA thesis and with that completed my Arts and Heritage master's. The warmfelt reactions of people have made my day and yes I have shed some tears. On top of this, one of my bestest friends Bonnie (who has been studying abroad in Exeter) arrived home to spend the holidays with her family and of course she, Esther and I seized the oportunity to have a wonderful catch up. Yes, yesterday could not have a better ending than that. As I am writing this post I am also in full preparation mode with my parents to get everything set up for tonight and the next days. My birthday is on the 26th and picking a birthday cake was strange as I cannot believe another year has passed already. Ah well, on to new adventures!



Magisch Maastricht│Blogmas

On Friday my mom came with the plan to visit the city of Maastricht to experience its Winter Wonderland before it was gone. I suppose you could say it has become a sort of tradition to visit it each year so my mom, sister and I were off to Maastricht that morning. The weather could not have been worse with rain pouring down and a lot of wind making use of an umbrella pretty much impossible. Upon arrival we went almost straight to Délifrance to have a well-deserved breakfast/lunch and a warm cup of tea. I had a delicious cheese and bacon grilled sandwhich to devour because even though I had taken my breakfast with me in the train, the cold burned the nutrition I got from it pretty fast.

Winter Wonderland is centered on the Vrijthof, one of the squares in Maastricht and thus outdoors. The weather was to clear up in a couple of hours, lending itself to shop a bit until the rain had stopped. Once the weather cleared up it was time to visit the cute little stalls at the square.

Look how cute everything looks! Cannot believe it is already over soon, but that makes these moments extra special. Alas, I was too full from all the food I had already that I could not enjoy some of the yummy goodness they had at all the food stalls such as the chocolate éclair with rum, raisins, and almonds my mom got. We also couldn't leave without taking some souvenirs home as you can see in the two pictures above. Aren't they the most awesome Christmassy mugs you have ever seen? I love them!



Christmas Gifts│Blogmas

Today I'll show you what gifts I've got for members of my family seeing as I finally managed to get everything - wrapped and standing among the other gifts under the Christmas tree or in the living room. I do hope none of them see it (not sure whether or not they read my blog) so here's my warning

 Mam, Paul, Isjara, Mikaïel en Danny als jullie dit zien en jullie de verrassing niet willen bederven dan nu wegklikken!


Maybelline Color Drama│Blogmas


One of my most recent purchases in the make up department that I am totally into at the moment and just had to share with you: the Color Drama range by Maybelline. The lipstick in pencil form have become all the trend from sheen gloss-like finishes to proper crayon colour pay-off items. According to Maybelline the Color Drama is "a soft matte lipstick in pencil form with extra colour pigments for a powerful colour pay-off" and is available in 9 shades in the Netherlands. I picked up two shades 110 Pink So Chic, a darker pink/purple shade, and 310 Berry Much, like the name suggest a purple berry shade.

110 Pink So Chic and 310 Berry Much
As stated, it is a matte product, and whilst my sister was a bit taken aback at how much it was drying her lips, I didn't have any problems with it. Of course, it is a bit drying because of its finish, so it all depends on the hydration of your lips. As always, make sure to exfoliate and hydrate your lips. In addition, you will need to get or own a lip pencil sharpener that is large enough to sharpen these lip pencils which shouldn't be too hard to find these days as most lip pencil sharpeners come in a duo-form for both regular as bigger pencils. The products are insanely pigmented and their lasting power is just as amazing. I have tried these out to see how well they would last, and let me tell you even after having dinner without the 'oh, no I have to eat carefully because I have something on my lips that I don't want to smudge' your lips still remain as beautifully coloured as before. Surely, at one point it'll lose some of its oomph but not until you have had an 8+ hours full wear out of it. Amazing!

Here you can see them when I have them as an quick and easy step to add a pop of colour to my face. On the left is 110 Pink So Chic and on the right 310 Berry Much. For €6.99 a piece so worth its price! Have you tried these out before?



Three Looks, One Palette│Blogmas

Some time ago I decided to venture more into posting beauty-related stuff as I do love me some make up and published this post where I showed three ways to create an eye make up look using the V2 palette by Sleek. Once published it received quite some views for this little blog of mine which came as a surprise. I am currently mainly working and doing stuff at home or running errands which usually does not lend itself to go all out on make up as I just rush to get ready for the day but since I had a lot of fun in trying different looks I thought why not! This time, I will show you three eye make up looks using the Undressed palette by MUA.

The Undressed palette contains 12 colours and was the first product I have ever come across from MUA as I was looking for dupes for, no surprise, the first Naked palette by Urban Decay. Although pinned away on my Pinterest for safekeeping, you know, for when I just happen to visit England one day again, it was not until a few months later when it was announced that MUA was coming to selected Kruidvat stores in the Netherlands. Naturally, it was the first item I purchased when it was available. I did have to wait longer than expected as I wasn't the only one who knew about this dupe, but now is a great addition to my make up collection.

Left to right top row: shade 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6
Left to right bottom row: shade 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12

I do not own the Naked palette and am therefore not able to make a comparion by myself, but judging by the available comparison swatches on Pinterest these colours come pretty close to the one by Urban Decay. My base consists of the same products that were mentioned in the first three looks, one palette post.

Look 1:
Let's start things off with a smokey look that is easy to do and just right for the holidays. Starting with the dark shade 11 all over the center of the lid, make sure you have a nice and even base. After this I applied the darker brown shade 10 in the outer-third of the eyelid and blended this in with the black that we have applied first. Once the desired darkness is created, smoke the entire look out by blending the mid-tone shade 5 and shimmery shade 4 in the crease to complete the look. Last but not least, apply the darker brown shade 10 under the waterline to balance out the eye look on the eyelid. Here I opted for a short-winged liner as well as a black eyeliner in the waterline and tightline to keep the intensity of the look. 

Look 2:
This look is the suggested look to create on the back of the palette and it even is my most used eyeshadow combination of this palette. An easy to wear, everyday look that has some nice hues that suit my complexion. Apply the mid-tone shade 5 all over the lid and apply shade 7 in the outer-v and crease of the eye. The combination of a matte base colour that is just a bit darker than my skin tone combined with a shimmery dark gold works amazing on my eyes.

Look 3:
To include the colder months, the last look is a frosty one. With the lighter mid-tone shade 3 applied over the entire lid, I then went over it with the frosty light pink shade 2. This really opens up the eyes. To define the eyelid a bit, I then applied shade 7 which is a darker shimmery warm pink in the outer-v, crease, and under the waterline to finish the look.

I hope you've enjoyed this post, let me know what looks you would create! If you're interested in getting this palette then head over to MUA's website as they just happen to have a 3 for 2 offer on all eye products.



Foodies' Fun│Blogmas

Hello Sunday! You know what that means, right? Foodies' Fun! A post for all the foodies out there where I share some of the food I had during a week. Unfortunately, my schedule has been messed up completely since November began, resulting in a lack of Foodies' Fun posts. I've been thinking and whilst I do want to continue with these posts I love food I'm going to change it up a bit and not post weekly any more. This way, I have a bit more space to make these posts as I go along. Every other week? Once a month? Who knows...as always, if you have a suggestion let me know. Blogmas luckily includes, in my case, one Sunday so let me show you some of this goodness!

  • Let's start just right with these amazing croissants! The last time I had croissants was in Berlin where I went with a couple of my friends and wrote about here. I do love me some croissants...
  • Smoothie time! With the weather being all over the place I definitely want to help my immune system by taking a lot more vitamins. 
  • My brother's favourite dish: bami goreng. An Indonesian fried noodle dish and so, so good.
  • Baguette with delicious cranberry pâté to get slowly get in the festive mood.
  • Although we do not celebrate Sinterklaas any more, I just couldn't resist getting these yoghurt-covered pepernoten. 
  • Stir-fried vegetables, peach, sate, lemper, and puffed pastry. A little bit of everything.
  • Homemade and oh so easy to make sweetbread. Just get some old bread, dip it in a sweet batter and fry away.
  • My sister made this special breakfast for me including nutella, banana, and bread.
  • Okay, okay as you can tell I love breakfast. Plus, there is still plenty of light outside so it also makes the best photos. But breakfast is hands down my favourite meal of the day. And this grilled cheese sandwhich is THE best one I have ever had. Not kidding. Thank you Stephanie from I am a Food Blog because this made my grilled cheese experience even better. 
  • My mom and I cheated and have already gotten a bag of oliebollen to enjoy at home with everyone else. It's safe to say, I devoured the most. 


Time to decorate!│Blogmas

If you have been following this blog for the last couple of days you can tell I am getting in the Christmas mood. With Christmas comes Christmas decorations and after a couple of days of rummaging through all the stuff that was boxed away in the attic the decorations are finally up in our house. Here is a look at some of the festive decorations that make this home ready for the holidays!

I was not kidding about the boxes...

Since last year we've added a sofabed to the living room as well as some other bits and bobs leaving no room for the good old foldable Christmas tree. So we placed it in the hallway and to be honest it stands there perfectly as all the Christmas presents are piling up one by one. Mom has decorated all the ball balls that hang on the Christmas tree by crocheting as well as made her own little ornament of branches that is hanging from the ceiling. The fluffy reindeer sitting on top of the dresser is a cute new addition and sings 'It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year' that you can check out on my instagram. Are your decorations already up?



Christmas Tag│Blogmas


No Blogmas leading up to Christmas is complete without a Christmas Tag. Although taken from a blog post from 2012 by Glow of Grace these questions nicely cover a lot of aspects so here we go! 

1. Do you stay in your PJ's or dress up for Christmas?
Depends on the occasion. When my family has other plans than staying in I put in the extra effort and dress up. Otherwise I spend most of it in my PJ's or just comfortable leggings with a sweater or top and cardigan.

2. If you could only buy one person a present this year, who would it be?
Within my family it would be my mom as she had a rough couple of months having strained her back.

3. Do you open your presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
Funnily I had this discussion at home the other day, but we open our presents on Christmas Eve.

4. Have you ever built a Gingerbread house?
Yes, I have. Twice actually.

5. What do you like to do on your Christmas break?
Usually I just sit in and watch some films and TV series. Nothing other than the usual except it being more Christmassy-themed I suppose. I sound awfully boring like that, but as everyone has their Christmas celebrations it is difficult to meet up with friends. Add to it that the holidays are also sad times by for instance remembering loved ones who passed away. It is always a mixed atmosphere. That does not mean I, or we, do not enjoy Christmas...We love it! The decorations, the snuggling up and staying in, the abundance of food and drinks, the presents. On top of this, Christmas has a special place in my heart as I am born on December 26, second Christmas Day here in the Netherlands. Wow, long answer. Okay, moving on.

6. What is your favourite Christmas meal or treat?
Ah, what are you doing to me with this question. So hard to answer! A few to mention that I absolutely love: Fries sugar bread, chicken roulade, stewed pears, and the whole assortment of Christmas biscuits and cookies by the brand Bolletje.

7. What is your favourite holiday film?
Hmm...How The Grinch Stole Christmas? The Nightmare Before Christmas? A Christmas Carol? Elf?  The Santa Clause? ALL of them.

8. Candy Canes or Gingerbread Men?
Candy Canes!

9. Have you ever made a snowman?
Of course I have! I just wish I had the photos of one of the snowmen we made when my siblings and I were younger. A proper-sized snowman it was.

10. Which do you like better, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
Dubious one...My grandma was born on Christmas Eve but sadly passed away a couple of years ago so it is always a sad reminder but on the other hand we often visited family in the past and always open our presents on Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve it is.

11. White lights, or colored lights?
Seeing as I love monochromatic colours I prefer white lights as decoration in our home. 



A Day Off...│Blogmas

In my last Monthly Music, or first Blogmas post, I gave a little update on what has been going on these last couple of months including the fact that I took a day off from everything that was happening. In the mood to treat myself with a worry-free day I purchased a public transport day ticket and hopped to Maastricht and Einhoven. Catching two birds with one stone I was able to return some books to the uni library in Maastricht as well as get some Christmas presents and shop at Primark in Eindhoven.

Not used to the early mornings any more and a beforehand late-night sleep of very few hours left me desperate for some coffee and so I spoiled myself for the Douwe Egbert's season special...behold the Speculaccino. I never had it before and thankfully only managed to lose two of the little gingerbread sprinkles as I was heading back to the station to meet up with my friend Esther. After that we were off to the uni library to return my books and head back to the train station to go to Maastricht Randwyck. It just so happened that I received an e-mail a few days before notifying me of an extra Boekenfestijn (book fair) at the MECC in Randwyck. Of course we couldn't let that opportunity pass! Flash forward to the day itself and off to the book fair we went.

The MECC event halls
My purchases from Boekenfestijn
No books to gift to people were found, but plenty of stuff for myself. Knowing I still had a full day of shopping ahead of me I had to restrain myself and left the book fair with five books and a pair of small headphones. The books I got are 'Man in the Dark' by Paul Auster, 'Collected Poems of Oscar Wilde' by Wordsworth and Anne Varty, 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow & Other Stories' by Washington Irving, 'City of Bones' and 'City of Ashes' by Cassandra Clare. With a stop at Sittard on the train back as our transfer stop Esther went home and I was awaited by my sister to take the next train to Eindhoven or as I like to call it Primark time!

Wow, what a surprise all monochromatic pieces. I will never get over this. My main objective at Primark? Try and buy a pair of trousers. I succeeded! I hate wearing these and I am sure many of you will agree with me. Once I found out about leggings I almost completely stopped wearing them, but as I am now almost always rushing out the door to do some errands I thought it was time to have a nicely fitted pair or two to just quickly throw one and be done. Oh, the dilemma. Usually I hardly ever find the right fit and because of it I despise trying them on, but I just had to. Luckily, I pulled through and now have two pairs of trousers. Next to these, I saw these amazing cardigans and sadly ditched the gingerbread Christmas leggings I was holding as I get a lot more wear out of these. In addition I came across cute ankle boots, another legging to balance out the trousers, and anti-slip soles for a ridiculous inexpensive price that were also on my 'need-to-get-today list'. My basket contained about the double amount of stuff that I ended up with but you know decisions had to be made and basically I just hope I can go back soon.

Once outside it was already dark and much colder than it was during the day but that also meant that the Christmas lights were turned on and just look at it. Beautiful! Time to shop the other shops with a trip to the Big Bazar and a special shop to visit in mind...

Meet BOQZ, a-250-shops-in-a-shop shop. Now the word shop just looks strange to me. Whilst I enjoy spending my time online looking at products on (exclusive) online or webshops, I haven't actually ever purchased anything online. Shocker, I know. Drooling over all the amazing clothing, homeware, design, crafty, beauty and what not pieces often gets me in the I-want-to-buy-everything-mood. I recently found out about the Boozyshop, a Dutch online beauty shop that sells brands that are hard  to get in the Netherlands. Scrolling through its website I saw a link to their pyshical shops and thought WHAT?! Eindhoven was among them and tadaa here we are. At BOQZ, the Boozyshop has - among many other brands and (online) shops -  a designated space to display some of the products it offers. The concept of giving entrepreneurs and online shops the ability to sell and display their products in an actual shop by hiring "cubes" or spaces within the BOQZ shop is an amazing idea. A trend that I hope will continue to grow.

These are the rest of the products I got that day. Three lipsticks by Maybelline in '245 Magic Mauve,' '625 Iced Caramel,' and '080 Cherry Pop' from the Big Bazar and Mint Julep Masque by Queen Helene at the Boozyshop space within BOQZ. Lastly, I did manage to get some Christmas presents, but if you want to see what I got then you have to wait and look out for a future post. I am still in the process of getting all the presents hence I will save it for later.