Dashingly Elevating

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

Monday, February 29, 2016

Table For One, Please

I felt like I needed a relaxing day for quite some time now. So I planned one last Saturday. This weekend started off with a few drinks with a friend. I immediately felt so relaxing and I knew this was going to be a nice weekend.

Saturday I did all my normal household chores but around lunchtime I went to the city center. I thought I'd take myself out for lunch. I was really craving caesar salad and went to see at the Hilton hotel if they had any and they did. Truth to be told I was kind of scared to walk through those doors. Although I had been there a couple of times for dinners and drinks. It was really empty and I looked around where I could sit. A really nice waitress asked if she could help me and I responded that I came in for lunch. She said that I could sit anywhere. I sat at a nice bench and took out my just bought magazine and book about Peru. The waitress gave me the wine menu and I went for a Pinot Grigio and ordered caesar salad with a side of fries and mayo. Define! Saturday is my cheat day after all so why not.

Sipping the wine, eating my salad and picking the fries I felt so content with myself and got in such relaxing mode. Maybe it was the wine but it was the same kind relaxing mode I have when I'm in a sauna. I was flipping through my magazine and Peru book and even ordered a second glass of wine.

This lunch made me think of my first lunch on my own which was in New York. I traveled there all by myself to visit and stay with friends in Brooklyn. One day I went shopping like crazy and spent so much money. I remember going into a little restaurant, sitting by myself, ordering white wine, caesar salad and a side of fries with mayo. It was the best thing ever and I felt so grown up at 23.

So why did I never do this again? I have been living on my own in Rotterdam for over 6 years now and I only took myself out for breakfast and tea once. And that was in the same week. Maybe I've done it again because I'm ashamed of eating out alone? Going out to eat in NYC, even for dinner, is totally normal there. But here? Not so much. Even though I was treated very nicely in the Hilton hotel, the younger male waiters talked English to me because they thought I must stay in the hotel. Not a crazy thought as a guy who was sitting across from me was indeed foreign and staying there.

But I didn't feel ashamed of myself and felt so good and relaxing, that I will definitely do this more often. I even posted this pic on Instagram! It's a little 'me time' treat that is different than having tea at home while reading. This Saturday also gave me the same feeling I had when I was in NYC, my beloved city crush. :)

Table for one lunching brings luxury to a whole other level. Try it some time!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Open Back Gray Sweater And Pink Pumps

Love that this look seems pretty normal from the front, but looks playful from the back with the crossed open back! This is a new sweater from Zara that I recently picked up. It just shows a tiny bit of skin so I can still wear it to work! Added pink pumps for a pop of color!

Jeans from Levis & pumps from Ted Baker


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Some Of My Favorite Quotes

Harper Lee - "Real courage is when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway...". inspirational, courage, character, perseverance, moral-courage, tenacity:

Last week Harper Lee passed away, the writer of one of my favorite books 'To Kill A Mockingbird'. I saw many quotes of her on instagram (like the above) and that inspired me to post a few of my favorite quotes on my blog.

You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.--Oprah Winfrey #quote #bebrave #newsletterguru:

Women need to shift from thinking “I’m not ready to  do that” to thinking “I want to do that— and I’ll learn by doing it.” –Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In #leanin:

And my all time favorite quote is from Maya Angelou:


Monday, February 22, 2016

A Red Lip Kind Of Day

When a working day Friday falls into a Friday night Friday, it's important to me to dress in such a way to the office so that my outfit can turn into wine drinking mode on a whim.

Last Friday I had plans with a friend to have a drink straight from work. I just bought a new pair of super skinny black pants and a louse gray tshirt, both from Zara that I wanted to wear. I wore my sky high booties underneath it and I just had to wear a red lip to compliment this outfit. It uplifts this informal outfit to chic. At the office I wore a black blazer but took it off at the bar.


Friday, February 19, 2016

Gray Pencil Skirt and Chunky Turtleneck

Just when I thought we had the coldest days of winter already, it's getting colder again! I want to be both chic, comfortable AND warm at the office, so this outfit is perfect to have all three.

Coziest turtle neck sweater from Zara tucked into a pencil skirt.
With all the different hues of gray, it still forms a chic outfit wearable to the office.


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Study Procrastination

This study year has flown by so quickly! Last week I already informed my work about the days off for my exams coming May. It's getting closer and closer! But, I don't feel ready at all or that I'm getting near the end of the year. I'm not really behind studying, I just feel a little behind.

At the beginning of the year I made a plan that by the end of this week I should have all the topics done. But guess what? Life kicks in. When I'm done later at work, I work out later, eat at 8:30 PM and then after I just don't feel like studying anymore.

Well, the above scenario happened a few times last week. I don't necessarily feel bad about it, but I know I need to step back in the game so that I can ace my exams coming May!

When I have that kind of procrastination feeling at night, I shouldn't think that I feel tired, but I should think of how I feel after I'm done finishing a topic. Because I feel good and satisfied about myself when I finished studying during a weekday night. Just like the feeling I have when I finish a workout, but then mentally!

This post is a little reminder to myself and every one else who is procrastinating study work. You can get lazy after the exams in May and then relax for a whole summer.

Remember how far you've already came!!


Monday, February 15, 2016

It Started With Cocktails

This past weekend couldn't have started better then having cocktails with my friend Mandy. Earlier that Friday I had a brunch with all of my colleagues from the holding so that was fun and yummy. Straight from work I did my groceries so at least I had that done already.
After the cocktails we went to another bar to see her boyfriend and other people that I know as well. Never been at that place, so always nice to get to know different places in our city!

Oye and the nachos... so so good...

Saturday was off to a healthier start by going to the Nationale Gezondheidsbeurs (national health fair) in Utrecht. Well... I expected way more from it... So we were a bit disappointed but at least we got free tickets from the gym!

Sunday was a mellow day by cleaning, studying and of course... meal prep! It feels so good to have both my breakfasts and lunches ready for the whole work week. Everything times five!


Friday, February 12, 2016

Little Things That Make Me Happy

I know from myself that in general, I'm a very happy girl and people know that. At work I'm cheerful most of the time, singing along with songs and love to make people laugh. Weather at work or not of course! A while back I wrote Something Good In Every Day for more happy inspiration.

Here is my daily happiness: 

  • Freshly polished nails
  • Wearing a great outfit
  • Hugs & kisses
  • Hearing a favorite song on the radio
  • Breaking a PR in the gym
  • Friends
  • My cat Charlie
  • Breakfast
  • Fresh bed linen
  • Finishing a topic from my study
  • A new book/magazine
  • Packages
  • And so much more I'm forgetting at the moment!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Eats Lately

 If you follow me on either my normal instagram account @DashinglyElevating or my fitness page @MissWD_Fit, you know I love to share my foods. Weather healthy or not so healthy. Because, in a balanced lifestyle, cheat days are calculated in every week as well.

Recently I had a lunch with a business relation. The appetizers were down right unhealthy. Bread, fried cheese, fried squid, but so good! We sat at Jamie Oliver's Italy in Rotterdam which I've never been. But for the main course I chose salmon. My favorite! I let the white dairy sauce for what it was and all of a sudden it was a paleo approved meal!

As you can see from the picture above is that I placed a huge order at Body & Fit. I always have my whey powder from them and love that they have free next day delivery. This time I chose Gingerbread flavor. I also ordered calorie free (that is 0 calories!!) caramel sauce (yum!!) and peanut butter cinnamon raisin spread (not so yum) from Walden Farms.

I also ordered protein bread and got a free athlete meal which I both need to taste and review yet.

Saturday & Sunday morning I made protein pancakes from a scoop of whey protein, half a banana, two egg whites and topped it with the caramel sauce. So good!!

Below a picture of my weekday breakfast of chia seed pudding! This week I will start to add whey isolate crispies on top for a little extra protein.


Monday, February 8, 2016

Chinese Year Of The Monkey

Today marks the official first day of the Chinese new year of the Monkey. Last Saturday it was already celebrated in China Town of Rotterdam as every year and even came on the news. I drove by on my bicycle when I came from the gym and it looked very fun. Especially love the dancing animals!

On this website I found a little more information about the year of the monkey and if you're born in one of the year's of the monkey, according to this website it won't be a good year for you...

Recently I was thinking how much has changed since last year. And that one year ago I wouldn't dare to dream of where I am right now. Especially career wise, but being content with myself and have so much love around me as well.

The only reason I'm looking back is to see how far I've come. Our new year has just started two months ago and I'm very excited to see what's up for me next!

Have a happy year of the monkey all!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Paleo & Vegan Breakfast Ideas

Sunday Mornings should look like this.:

I've mentioned that I follow the paleo lifestyle for a few times on my blog already. However, I try to limit my animal protein intake. Hard? -Yes. Impossible? -No. I tend to find to eat a vegan breakfast the easiest. For example, my chia seeds pudding I posted last week. It's paleo approved as well!

On weekends I make pancakes which are vegan & paleo as well and sometimes I add a little protein powder. I'll post the recipe soon!

Until then, here are some vegan & paleo breakfast recipes for your (and mine) inspiration: 

You can substitute the eggs for apple sauce or chia seeds soaked in water.

Sweet Potato Preotein Pancakes

Sweet Potato Protein Pancakes:

Faux Oatmeal

Paleo “Faux”tmeal:

Green Smoothie Bowl

Energizing Green Smoothie Bowl - vegan, healthy, easy and tastes like ice cream - this green bowl of goodness is thick, creamy, naturally sweet and will leave you feeling balanced.:

Chia Seeds Pudding


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Inspiring Quotes From Davos 2016

I always look forward to the World Economic Forum in Davos to read and see what world and business leaders are talking about. Especially when my ultimate favorite feminist and business woman Sheryl Sandberg speaks.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from WEF 2016:


Monday, February 1, 2016

Happy February!

February wreath by Kelsey Garrity Riley (via Etsy).:

Wow! Can't believe we're already one full month in 2016! January literally flew by. Probably because I'm busy at work, studying a lot and that my weekends are filled with social activities! Really hope this month will be the same. Plus, more personal records when it comes to weight lifting! ;-)

And of course, this month has Valentine's Day on the Fourteenth! I don't think it will be as much fun as last year (or as cold) though. Last year we went to Z├╝rich in Switzerland that weekend. On Valentine's day we climbed a mountain covered in snow, had typical Swiss lunch on top and had a super romantic dinner at night. I remember that we said to each other: "It will be super hard to make Valentine's Day anymore perfect next year!". And even though I'm staying in the Netherlands this V-Day, it still can be a special day. V-Day is to celebrate love. Whether it is with your significant other, kids, friends, parents or pet. Let's celebrate!

While I just typed this post, it reminds me that I have a little personal thing to celebrate and if you know my blog, you know I love to celebrate the little things as well!

Hope everyone's February will be great and maybe a little less cold (please?)!

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