Dashingly Elevating

It's all messy. The hair. The bed. The words. The heart. Life. ~ William Leal

Friday, December 30, 2016

2016: Trips I Took

If there is one word that I have to describe 2016 with, it's most definitely travel. Even in the last week of the year we seemed to have squeezed in one last trip to celebrate Christmas in Sweden. I will update my whole Stockholm + Sweden trip early next year.

Now I'll share all of the six abroad trips I took this year, for work and leisure:

May: Ghent, Belgium

My first trip of the year was for work to Ghent, Belgium. Even if it was just for one day, I was really happy to go because Ghent was on my list for a long time. Such a cute city! Must visit some time again for a bit longer.

May: Rome, Italy

Roma! I went to Rome, Italy on the day I had my last exam of the year. It was my second time to Rome but I saw things through totally different eyes. 

This was my first time to Austria and Vienna did not disappoint! Such a beautiful city! Clean, friendly and every corner is a worth taking a picture.

July & August: Road trip, Morocco

My road trip to Morocco was my first time to Africa. The absolute highlight of this trip was my solo climb with a guide to the top of Mount Toubkal, the highest mountain of Northern Africa. Scratch that, it was the baddest, most coolest, hardest and most rewarding thing I did in 2016.

September: Berlin, Germany

For work I went to Berlin in September. Lucky this wasn't my first time to Berlin because I barely saw anything from the city. This picture was taken from a cab!

December: Bergshamra & Stockholm, Sweden 

The last trip was to Bergshamra & Stockholm, Sweden. Seriously, Sweden is the best country to celebrate Christmas in. Literally ever house, cafe and office has a Christmas light in front of every window. Lots of houses are decorated in lights and have lit Christmas trees in the garden. Or a santa claus and reindeer. You name it, they have it. Stockholm is such a lovely city! Can't wait to share more with you very soon.

Already dreaming of all the places I want to visit next. For now, no travel plans are set but I can't wait to explore more of the world!!

Want to see where I traveled last year? Click here.

You can follow me on Instagram @DashinglyElevating for more travel pictures!


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone!


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Friday, December 23, 2016

Going To Stockholm For Christmas

The time is here! We're finally on our way to go to Sweden to celebrate Christmas. We won't stay in Stockholm, but we will visit the city several times while we're there. I'm so excited to go and quite frankly, I can really use a vacation. This will be my first time ever spending Christmas out of the Country. Glad it is a true winter wonderland country! Too bad it won't be snowy white.

Always like to try out new foods of the country that I'm visiting and Sweden won't be an exception. I even picked out a restaurant in Stockholm already!

Also, can't wait to hear them speak! I met Hannah from Stockholm on the Women in Technology Conference in Amsterdam and she taught me a a few words. All I remember is: "Hej!".

You can follow me on instagram: @DashinglyElevating

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

My Favorite Books Of 2016

I've read my fair share of books this year, although I could have read more if I really put my mind to it. But I must admit, if I really really love a book, I cannot put it down. There were three of those books this year which will stay with me for a long time.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

One of my uptime favorite books (I'm not exaggerating), is Wild. I loved the writing, Cheryl herself and I learned a lot from the things she did in her life. And, it made me cry as well. Biggest impact? Although I've climbed mountains before, but never did a climb as big as Mount Toubkal in Morocco last summer. Must read for all twenty-something women.

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl On The Train was the first thriller I ever read. And it was so thrilling indeed! Could not put it away and I grasped for air a couple of times. Must say that I couldn't always relate to the main character, but liked that it changed from character views each chapter. Definitely want to read more thrillers now! Any suggestions? 

The Sell by Fredrik Eklund

Didn't expect to love this book so much. I absolutely enjoy Fredrik on Million Dollar Listing NY and if you do too, you'll enjoy this book too. He write just as he is telling you stories or giving you advice while he is sitting on the couch with you in your living room. If you don't mind being called high-kicker, then I highly suggest you pick up a copy of this book. Especially when you're in sales or trying to start or expand your own business. But it's for general life and career advice as well. I even highlighted many parts throughout the book which I will read again and again.

Already have many new books on my shelves which I can't wait to read and share with you!


Monday, December 19, 2016

Dreaming Of Ruling The World

Last week I dreamt of the song "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" by Tears For Fears. And when I say dreamt, I really mean hearing the song in my sleep. In fact, in was incorporated in the dream. My dad calls dreams being the director of your own movie. 

I dreamt that I was hearing the soundtrack of a Disney movie. Now I don't remember the other songs or the name of the movie (which was probably made up anyway) but I do remember this song as clear  as day. When I woke up I looked up what it meant by hearing a song in your dreams and it was all about interpreting the lyrics. Duh! So here it goes:

Firstly I heard the beginning so clearly and I love the beginning of the song. Kind of reminds me of "The Way You Make Me Feel" by Michael Jackson.

Welcome to your life, there's no turning back, 
Even while we sleep, 
We will find you acting on your best behavior
Turn your back on mother nature
Everybody wants to rule the world

Welcome to your life, this is it (there is no turning back). Do something out of the ordinary (mother nature).

It's my own desire, it's my own remorse. 
Help me to decide. 
Help me make the most of freedom and of pleasure
Nothing ever lasts forever
Everybody wants to rule the world

Help me to decide to make the most freedom and of pleasure.

I can't stand this indecision, married with a lack of vision
Everybody wants to rule the world

I really want an answer.

Say that you'll never, never, never, never need it
One headline, why believe it?
Everybody wants to rule the world

All for freedom and for pleasure
Nothing ever lasts forever
Everybody wants to rule the world

Guess I really want to rule the world! ;-)

I think my personal interpretation is different than what the band meant with it, but it was my dream. And that's the purpose of dreams, to interpreting them into your life. I really like to look up dreams, even the scary ones. Most of the time, they're not scary at all. A few weeks back I helped to get behind the meaning of a scary clown dream of a friend and at the end, it wasn't scary at all and it all made sense. Sometimes dreams can be fun too. Like when I had a dream of adopting kittens.

By the end of the day, I know exactly what this dream and songs means for me and that I will have to act upon my goal. Hence, the goal digger picture above. ;-)

Last Saturday my brother and I celebrated an early Christmas at my dad and stepmom's. Before we had dessert I brought everyone fortune cookies and this was mine:

"The secret of succes? Stop wishing and do something!"
Wow, it can't be anymore clear now, can it? Two signs from... the universe are telling me I should get into action if I want to rule the world and I can only obey!

Hope this story inspired you as well to become a Goal Digger in 2017! And why not start now?!

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Friday, December 16, 2016

All The Winter Things

I love every season that is coming up next. Yes, even winter. Well, maybe winter because it's associated with Christmas. And because it's Christmas time, I celebrate it during the whole month of December.

Now I have to admit, I'm not looking forward to January and February, as it wil be only getting colder and colder, without the Christmas cheer and decorations. Sounds depressing right? Instead of just focussing on the cold and the dark, think of all the nice things you can do during winter.

I know, it's not winter yet, but because it's cold and already snowy at some places, let's just pretend it is shall we? ;-)

During winter you can:

  • Make an outside bonfire: and make s'mores while wrapped up in a blanket next to your love.
  • Go out hiking in the snow: and come home heating up with some hot coco.
  • Ditch plans for eating out: and finally try that soup recipe you've been meaning to make.
  • Try a new hobby or course: now is the time! Learn how to knit, follow a cooking class or follow an online course or watch a TED talk.
  • Join the gym: during summer you love to run outside and now it's way too cold. And, if you sign up now, you beat the New Year's resolutions craziness + get a head start for summer! 
  • Enjoy the quiet and relaxing time: During Summer my whole schedule is fully booked. Of course very nice, but I actually enjoy the cooler times where I can really enjoy some quiet alone time with my loved ones.

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Monday, December 12, 2016

DE At Home: Christmas Decorations

I love to celebrate Christmas the whole month of December. After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year! I love decorations, scented candles, Christmas cookies, Christmas movies, a decorated tree in the house with lights and being with family and friends.

But this year, Christmas will be a little different because we'll be in Stockholm, Sweden this year. Hopefully it will be snowy white because we haven't had a white Christmas in years! This will be my first time celebrating Christmas abroad and that's why I didn't want to bring a big Christmas in my house. But, since I wanted to decorate, I decorated the branches with ornaments and put up the lights near the tv. After a few days I missed a little green in my home so I bought the smalles Christmas tree I could find and even bought mini ornaments!

I also recently bought the Christmas pillow and new white blanked from H&M home. Plus, I love reading with a fireplace on my tv while listening to Christmas songs.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

First Do The Things...

... and then think about it.

I came across this quote yesterday and posted it on my instagram. Love to think of doing things this way, contrary to what I do most things actually. I tend to think things over. A lot. But I love for that to change a little. I remember when I'm on vacation I dance first, then think about it. "Let's go here!" Without thinking everything through. We would be walking a path, towards something on a map, but then go off the beaten path to find something that we didn't think of first. That's the fun thing about traveling, isn't it?

Unfortunately, with life, people ought to think first before doing anything. Like, really think things over at work for example before a plan is executed.

I visited a company the other week and their motto was, to execute the plan quickly, and not polish everything until it's perfect. Maybe a competitor already did it and then we're too late. And if you made a mistake, you'll have to learn from it and think what can be done better next time.

This also made me remember a story from Mor from Google, speaker at the European Women in Technology Conference back in November. She told us that when she was younger she was chosen to meet big clients and flew with her colleagues to see them. During the meeting which lasted several days, she overthought what she wanted to say. She wanted to say something so good that everyone thought that she was so clever and that it was the best thing yet. When she finally came up with something, one of the guys already said it, if not less clever than she would have said it.
Then she told us that she didn't say one word during the whole meeting, and thought about it during her plane flight back home.

I hope that by these stories you (and also myself) are inspirited to be the first one to jump, also if it's a little scary and you're afraid to make mistakes.

First dance. Then think. It's the natural order.


Monday, December 5, 2016

December Read: The Sell by Fredrik Eklund

Recently I picked up the show Million Dollar Listing NY again after watching it on and off. After a few episodes I actually started enjoying it and not for the sake of watching (because who watches tv in the world of Netflix anyways?) but because I started to develop a love for the characters. Not just the private lives, witty comments and the apartments I'm in complete awe of, but how they actually make the sell. I'm a Buyer for my profession, so naturally, negotiating is my life. It's something I do daily. Weather it's for work, at a souk in Marrakech or negotiating where to eat for dinner with a friend or my significant other.

And you probably negotiate or 'sell' more than you know as well. Your kid's bedtime, vacation plans, or an idea at your work with a coworker.

I started Googling Fredrik Eklund and found out he wrote this book. Now I have to tell you, I never read a book about sales before because of two reasons:

  1. I'm not in sales;
  2. It's always so over the top American.

By reading the lines above you know that that I (and you!) am in sales because I sell myself on a daily basis. And for the over the top American thing, Fredrik Eklund is Swedish! And yes, he is over the top but if you like him on the show, you'll love how he writes this book. Even though it's co-written with Bruce Littlefield.

He writes a lot of things that I already know and are normal to me and not new. But I also highlight some of the lines (as he told me to do!) in his book and sentences that make me think. Which is the purpose of these type of books. 

Furthermore, I love his stories of when he was younger. For example how he dropped out of school to start a start-up (and failed), how he got his first buyer for an apartment and how he was selling and negotiating since he was a little kid. Also love the few Swedish sentences, since I will go to Sweden later this month!

Perfect timing!!

If you can recommend other business or sales books; I would love to read them! 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Happy December!

It's the time to be jolly!

Happy December everyone! And like on all the social media I repeat: we made it! And: let's forget 2016! Ok, the US elections made 2016 a year we all want to forget quickly, but my year was a really good one!

But, before I write a post on looking back at 2016, first look ahead of this December. It's my favorite month of the year! Because Christmas is basically enjoyed all month, the decorations, scented candles, candy and lights outside. Plus, it ends the year with a killer party on New Year's Eve!

But the thing what I'm looking forward mostly this December is our trip to Sweden! We will visit Stockholm too but we're staying one hour out of Stockholm in a cabin somewhere in the woods. With hopefully lots of snow. It will be my first Christmas outside of The Netherlands but we couldn't have picked a better country to spend Christmas in than the Nordics!

Next week I'll travel to my mom to celebrate her birthday and I've time planned to spend with some girlfriends as well. And who knows, a little city trip will come up as well...

Hope you'll enjoy December!! 

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Monday, November 28, 2016

European Women In Technology Conference

The entrance 

Last Wednesday I attended the Women In Technology Conference in Amsterdam and I'm so glad that I did and being sponsored by my work. I met super smart and powerful women throughout the day, spent the day with a lovely Swedish woman, listened to some great talks and got to ask some 1 on 1 questions with some of the speakers as well.

The thing that stuck most with me was the Bridging The Gender Gap panel at the end of the day. I spoke to two of those women after and I added them on LinkedIn. One said on LinkedIn that the talent and potential of young women will transform the industry... and the world.

Wow, how inspiring right? And another woman of the panel members sent me a message on LinkedIn that if I ever had any more questions, I could come to her. So nice of her!

What I learned from this panel is that you need to find a mentor and that female leaders will have to set an example and help other women succeed.

This day made me realize more and more that, if women work together, amazing things happen.

Will attend next year as well!!

Luckily I met Hannah from Sweden soon, so I had company throughout the day!

Google gave us lots of goodies, socks and all.

Speaker from Google.

Who knew the CEO of Booking.com is Dutch? Loved listening to her!

Some speakers showing a quote of my uptime favorite power woman: Sheryl Sandberg. 

Can you spot me?

Loved the lecture by Google: It's a men's game (but women can play it too).

Mor from Google. Got to talk to her after and she gave me some helpful advice as well!

Google made sure we didn't get hungry.

Bridging te Gender Gap panel.


Friday, November 25, 2016

Reflecting And Being Grateful

On top of Mount Toubkal, Morocco 

If you're American you've probably celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday and at lost of places everywhere around the world, Black Friday sales are in full swing by now.

But what I like about the idea of Thanksgiving is reflecting and standing still with the things you're grateful for.

So here is my little list of  what I've been especially grateful for in 2016:

Being Able To Climb A Mountain

When I planned the trip to Morocco, I was also looking if there were mountains nearby that I could climb. Luckily for me, the highest mountain of North Africa, Mount Toubkal with 4167 meters, was nearby. Challenge accepted. Even though it was harder than expected, I made it to the top! Being able to do this made me extra grateful for my healthy body and mind that I was able to achieve such an accomplishment. 

 Friends & Family

A lovely evening with Lindsey

I wouldn't be without my family where I am now and I wouldn't be as happy without my friends or my family. 


When I was in Rome last May

I'm grateful that I got to travel to so many countries this year. Happy that I could afford my trips but also lucky that I got invited by friends or traveled for work a couple of times. This year I visited: Belgium, Germany, ItalyAustria and first time to Africa, Morocco. Plus, I will travel to Sweden next month! That's 6 countries in one year and three of those were for the first time!

Being Able To Vote

Wearing "Madam President" by OPI to support Hillary Clinton on Election Day

Although we have no saying in American politics, the results were utterly devastating on the night of November 8th to 9th. But nevertheless, I'm grateful that we are able to vote! Our election is in March 2017 and I already know whom I'm voting for!

Wether you're celebrating Thanksgiving and/or shopping on Black Friday or not, it's always nice to reflect and think of the things you're grateful for.


Monday, November 21, 2016

I'm Still Here!

Hey everyone, I'm still here! Sorry for being M.I.A. for the last couple of days, but I was still nearby! And with nearby I mean, near my MacBook. If you follow me on Instagram you might have noticed that I didn't post as much as normal but still checked in regularly. You see, with work, studying, friends, family, gym and a household, blogging can be sometimes a little bit to much. Not that I see it as a chore by all means! But my life can sometimes be a little busy to say the least and a little internet break from now and then can be very much needed.

I have, however, thought of lots of fun blog post ideas which I will share (and continue to share) with you in the coming weeks and months.

We've entered the last week and a half of November, seriously, where does the time go?! Still in time to share a fall related blog post because it is my favorite season after all. That being said, I'm already looking forward to Christmas!

I've also been busy changing my interior a little bit and I can't wait to share with you soon. I've said before that Fall for me feels like a change and it's nice to be implementing that in my home.

Glad to be back on my blog again and I won't be gone anytime soon!

You can read my next post soon but in the meantime you can follow me on: Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Hello November!

It's November! Which shouldn't come as a shock to me because when my birthday is over, it's November before I can blink my eyes. Yesterday I was on my bicycle home and it started raining and the wind blew so hard, the leafs practically smashed into my face. But then, it's all better again when I come home, turn on the heat, lit a few candles, crawl under a blanket and watch an episode of Homeland. You know, I just started that series, only watched 4 episodes so far! 

I'm a big believer of new month, new beginning. And this month seriously could not have started any different than I could ever imagine. Let's see it as new beginnings, new surprises and starting over a few aspects of my life.

And even if you're not going through some major life changing changes, ;-) you could still see this month as a new start. That's how I always see the fall. The trees are shedding their old leafs, to make up for something pretty and new again come spring.

Later this month I'll go to the "European Women in Technology" summit in Amsterdam and I'm so excited! It's a network event with speakers and workshops and I can't wait to meet more women in my industry and learn from them as well. Will tell more about the event after!

Have a happy November everyone! Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice. ;-)

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Monday, October 31, 2016

How I Spent My 28th Birthday

This past week I celebrated my 28th birthday!! We started with dinner on Wednesday night and champagne and a present at 12 o'clock sharp!

Delicious dessert at a restaurant I'd never been. So good and so sweet!

Coffee, chocolate cake & Vogue

On Saturday we went to the sauna which I needed so much! Relaxing in all types of saunas and soaking in a pool and hot tub! 
For breakfast I got chocolate cake from Starbucks and got my PSL for free because I said it was my birthday! So sweet!

For dinner we had a true feast with mussels, champagne, bread and chocolate ice cream for dessert. It was the perfect end to a perfect birthday!

On Saturday my dad and stepmom visited and at night I went to have dinner with Mandy and see a movie after.

This was truly one of my favorite birthdays ever because it was celebrate with my favorite people! It also started out quite differently. I wouldn't have imagined that a few weeks ago!

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

It's My 28th Birthday!!

It's my 28th birthday today! Can't believe how fast this past year went by. With my job, travels, people I met; it sure was a great 27th year!

My 28th year started out differently than any other birthday I ever had. And I think, it will mark the rest of the new birthday year as well. ;-)

Here's to a great 28th birthday year!!


Monday, October 24, 2016

An Evening at Carré In Amsterdam

Had a great weekend and was really looking forward to this one. Actually, needed a great weekend as well. Friday we went out for dinner and drinks and we had so much fun!

Saturday, we decided on a whim to go see Dutch comedian Bert Visscher in Carré in Amsterdam. We had the very last two tickets first row in the middle. Before we went to Amsterdam we joked around that we had a big change to be picked out and called upon. During the break I wanted to say, luckily we didn't get picked out! But I held myself in.

Which was for the better because of course I got picked out by Bert! He asked me my name and asked me to stand up and hold his hand. Then he said he tried to steal my rings while he wiggled them a little. He asked where I came from (Rotterdam, which is not always a good thing to say in Amsterdam :-)), how I got there (and I pointed towards my date). Then he complimented us and asked me what I did for a living. At the end he got to tell his joke and there was really no reason that I held his hand, just for interacting with his audience.
He said "If you survive a date on the first row at Bert Visscher, you will make it". Hahaha so funny! But also sweet. ;-)

At the end of the show while he got a standing ovation I already thought he would shake my hand again which he did and nodded to my date. Afterwards a bunch of people came up to us to wish us luck. It made us laugh so much!

Really, you had to be there but it was a great experience. And the theatre Carré in Amsterdam is magical!

Afterwards we went for drinks in a random pub in Amsterdam which had the best friendly vibe.

And Amsterdam is so romantic at night...


Monday, October 17, 2016

A Great Full Weekend!

My dad loves Escher

I had such a great full weekend! It started with drinks and dinner with a colleague after work on Friday. We had such a blast! Great way to unwind after a work week.

Didi & I

Friday burgers

Of course, some train travel essentials: Porter magazine, a croissant and PSL!

On Saturday I met my dad in Den Haag and first up was carrot cake for me and scrambled eggs for him before we went to the M.C. Escher museum.

Dad loves Escher! I grew up with his work around me my whole life and it was so nice to read more behind his work. Wow, so much work gets into one piece! And also, his imagination is surreal. How can he even think of that and then cut it out from wood or stone with little knives? Unbelievably talented!

Bought this one as a postcard 

The museum is at the palace in Den Haag, where Queen Emma once lived. Beautiful!

Dad & I in a sphere!

The original sphere. Gorgeous.

Sunday was a beautiful warm day, great for a walk around the park. In the afternoon I read a chapter in Hillary Clinton's memoire 'Hard Choises' and looked at the art of M.C. Escher again.

It surely was, a great full weekend!

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