Dashingly Elevating

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

Friday, April 29, 2016

My Spring Travels


If you follow me on Instagram you probably already know but I have something great to look forward to at the end of my exams and that is... Rome! I'm flying out just a few hours after my last exam at the end of the day. It's been four years since I've been there. Can't wait to find out to see what's changed or to love it as much as I did the first time.


In June I'll travel to Vienna, Austria for the first time! I saw so many beautiful pictures on instagram and blogs that I just HAD to book a trip there! Can't wait to plan the itinerary. Already have so many nice places in my mind to see and great spots for food as well!
Plus, staying at the cutest hotel which is totally designed old fashioned Vienna chic! It's near the Belvedere palace, super convenient! 

And coming month I'll go on a short business trip to Belgium! We'll visit a city I've never been to before, can't wait to share! 

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Destress And Study Break Ideas


Like I mentioned on Monday, today we have a free day to celebrate the birthday of our king. For us that means dancing on a festival and eating festival foods!! Before I'll go to the festival, I, wait for it, study some more! But then, dance dance dance!

Recently a friend sent me the above picture to wish me luck for studying. And because everyone deserves a (study) break, here are some ideas!


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Monday, April 25, 2016

Just Studying


Just one more week (ok and two days) till my first exam of the year!! Aaaah! All I'm doing lately is working out (if I give myself the luxury of the time) and studying in my free time. During the week I watch just 30 minutes of tv and on the weekends a bit more.

That's why Friday after work drinks with colleagues was a very welcomed spare time. Sorry to my friends, for not being able to hang out. Except for coming Wednesday, as the Netherlands has a day off to celebrate our king's birthday. Everyone is wearing orange (our national color) and we'll go to a festival and dance dance! Perfect study break (and no work).

On weekends I have some more time to go to the gym which makes me feel so good! Plus, I started to watch The Walking Dead. I'm in season two now and: yuck! But still, so addictive... :P

This past Sunday I finished prepping for Strategic Management (my least favorite subject) and this week I'll start for Marketing, which happens to be my favorite subject so I'm actually looking forward.

To everyone who also has their exams in May: best of luck!! 


Picture source

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Friday, April 22, 2016

Practicing Yoga Again!


Every few weeks I have an hour-long sport massage. I love getting those as I sit behind a computer, most hours of the working day, most days of the working week. Plus, I workout five times a week. This makes my back stiff, but I want something stronger because my fitness regime is intense, hence the Chinese sport massage.

Now last time instead of a full body massage, she did my back for a full hour. She said sorry incase of hurting me (which she didn't, but it's not comfortable in all times), but she had to work on my back for an hour and the knots still weren't gone.

I asked her what I could do about it and she suggested me yoga.

I do some yoga moves every day after weight lifting as I don't want to lose my flexibility. When I was younger I did ballet and for years I did on and off yoga and pilates. I even went to Italy to practice yoga with my mom!

I saw this move "upward bow (the wheel)" on my instagram feed come by a couple of times. Then at one day, I decided to try it out! Watched a video on YouTube, followed it and: ta-daa!!

Seriously, I did it in one go and was so happy! Now I do this move a couple of times a week to make my back bendier. 

I started yoga again for my back, but I love what my body is capable of! Not just of weight training and making my body stronger, but now bendier as well!!
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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Studying Everywhere All The Time


Charlie the cat keeping me company while studying 

I can't believe my first exam is already in two weeks!! I'm seriously freeking out right here. And because I'm working fulltime, go to the gym five times a week and running this blog, I have to squeeze in as much of studying in my little spare time I have left. Seriously, what is Netflix? What friends? What wine? All concessions are made for that little piece of paper. I can have my wine and see my friends again at May 20th!

But for now: studying, studying, studying!!


Reading while on the treadmill in the gym


And reading while cooking. Or is it the other way around?
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Monday, April 18, 2016

An Easy Day of Vegan Eats


Recently I decided to eat more organic and also more plant based foods which means less meat and fish! I just made a few swaps and noticed how actually easy it is to eat vegan! I removed meat from my day to day diet for now but that doesn't meen I won't eat any when I'll go out for dinner for example. I also removed dairy (which I barely ate anyway) and eggs too. Now eggs and dairy are almost always in pastries so that is maybe the hardest part.

I try to have vegan days because I think it's healthy to eat less animal protein, not because of my beliefs. And therefore I will still eat honey (if certain sweets are sweetened by it, or gelatine (also in sweets).

Here below I'll show you a super easy day of vegan (100%!) eating without doing any concessions!


BREAKFAST:

Coconut yoghurt topped with sunflower seeds, mulberries, half a banana and chopped almonds.
Alternative: soy yoghurt or oatmeal with almond milk or just water!


SNACKS: 

The easiest options is of course fresh food and veggies! But I still like bars from time to time as well. For example, nut bars or raw dried fruit bars with nuts and dried fruit (that's it!), like Nakd bars.
Alternative: vegan pastry from the organic grocery store (pictured below), nuts, dried fruits.



LUNCH:

No need to give up your breads! There are so many vegan options at the organic grocery store and more and more at the normal grocery stores as well. Easiest option? PB&J! Jokes aside, here are a few of the options that I eat and I change regularly. They have lots of vegetable spreads without soy as well. I even found vegan chocolate spread!
Alternative: salad with a lot of veggies or maybe topped with grilled vegan chunks.


DINNER:

Easiest option is a meat alternative based on soy or legumes.
Alternative: spaghetti with tomato sauce and lots of veggies.


You see? Vegan eating can be easy! And with the many easy options, you don't even need to run to the grocery store!
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Friday, April 15, 2016

Army Green Pant And Bordeaux Shirt


The day we took these pictures it was one of the first warm spring days. But now, it feels like we're back in fall again. But then again, this outfits fits perfectly for those in between days.

Shirt: Mango, Pant: Zara, Pumps: Buffalo
Location: Rotterdam





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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Sweet Relaxing Morning

(Pic I posted Saturday morning on my instagram)

I think that last Saturday I was glued to my bed. I even went back to bed to make a selfie. ;-) Well, the #morningstory went a bit different. You see, Saturday is the only day of the week I can sleep in. During the week I have to go to work, and I even get up earlier to squeeze a workout in. And on Sunday I set an alarm to study all day.

But no, not this Saturday. My upstairs neighbor, who lives with two other girls, decided to get up at 7:45 AM and walk around her whole bedroom. Whyyyyy?! I will never know but she got me up and awake and I couldn't get back to sleep. 

Instead of getting up from bed and getting productive (that's one solution), I decided to just lie there awake. Charlie the cat meowed her way into my bedroom and for a few minuted we just cuddled. It was so lovely, relaxing and the sun shined in my room.

Still not getting up completely, but I took my Mac and a magazine to relax a little bit more in my bed. Lovely!!

Getting up this relaxed made me forget I couldn't sleep in. And on Sunday I even woke up 45 mins before the alarm, which means I wasn't that sleepy. It even gave me time to relax a bit in bed!

I can't wait until my exams are over (next month!) so I can have more of these relaxing weekend mornings!


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Monday, April 11, 2016

The First Real Spring Dinner

This Saturday I went to my dad's and stepmom's place to celebrate my dad's birthday. Before I headed out to Den Haag, I took a necessarily selfie. ;-)


After the unwrapping of gifts and eating way to many sweets, dad also prepared a spring feast: asparagus! Soo good! I always eat those as much as I can during the season. Dad also made salmon sashimi (drool) egg salad and potatoes. Yum! 

For dessert we had sweet fresh strawberries. This was my first spring themed meal and with this beautiful weather, I feel like spring has finally begun!!


Always good to cuddle with the lovely dog Boris. (L)

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Friday, April 8, 2016

Matching Striped Gray Skirt And Sweater

 

Normally I don't wear matching sets, but when I saw this skirt and sweater hanging in Zara, I was sold. It's so cute! I've also worn this skirt separately, so it's a win-win.

This sweater is a bit shorter than normal, so it shows a little skin 










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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

New Cookbook: Nourish With The Seasons


So let me tell you a little bit about my diet. First of all, I see eating healthy as a lifestyle, not as a short term diet to lose weight, because I don't need/want to.

At the beginning of the year I started eating Paleo again. No grains, dairy, added sugar and legumes. Lots of animal protein and eggs basically. That worked well for me, for just a little while. Even though you can eat carbs on Paleo (sweet potatoes for example), I really did miss my oatmeal, bread and rice/quinoa. Since I was searching what was right for me because I workout/weight lift 5/6 times a week, I reached out to the dietitian at my gym. She listened to what I wanted and made me an example diet plan for one day.

Biggest change was that I was going to eat a whole lot more and more carbs as well. Since I was already eating home cooked meals 3 times a day, I was OK with all the meal prepping.

But after a month I was totally done with it. All the cooking (for 5 meals a day) on Sunday afternoon after I had done my studying. Fast forward: I was eating bread again for breakfast and lunch.

Now I'm not saying bread is bad for you, but it just does't work for me. I need to eat food to get all of my macro's in which means lots and lots of protein.

So I was a little lost in the diet section and didn't really know what to eat. But then, after a three week wait, the book "Nourish With The Seasons: Summer" came in the mail, all the way from Australia! It's so nice that Hannah Polites whom I have been following for years on Instagram made a cookbook with her friend Rachel Butler!

This is a great book with beautiful pictures, mouthwatering recipes and inspiring quotes which inspired me to eat more fresh, local and organic foods.

Plus, the book inspired me to eat less animal foods and more plant based.

Rachel is vegan, so there are plenty of vegan recipes but also with fish, eggs and dairy for example. Love that you can easily adjust the recipes to your diet wishes.


You can buy their book here.




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Monday, April 4, 2016

Happy April!


Yay I'm so glad it's April! The first weekend of April and it was so sunny and warm, it even got 20 degrees! Woo!

But on the other hand; in exactly one month I will sit my first (out of four) exam! Aaaaaah! So even though this weekend was gorgeous, on Sunday I spent most of the time inside to study...
But in the afternoon I went out for a 6K run. First run outside of the year! And it was so warm... But I will not complain of the warmth. In fact, I'm embracing it! Can't wait until the first day I won't have to wear any hosiery under my skirts and dresses.

On Friday eve I went to Lindsey's place for a couple of drinks before we went out. We went to two bars before we ended up dancing and we stayed there until the lights went on. Oye... But you need a night like that from time to time.


On Saturday after sleeping in, I went to the gym. Really felt so much better than that! In the afternoon I went to my local organic grocery store for a little shopping and I picked up my first vegan cupcake at "Heavenly Cupcakes" nearby.

Like I said, Sunday was spent mostly indoors studying Marketing and went out for a run. Running while the full sun was shining on my face felt so good!


Straight from the run I took a warm bath to relax my muscles and read a little. Such a relaxing way to end your weekend and start a new week!

PS: have you seen on my Instagram that I have a new MacBook Air? Yay I'm so happy! Love blogging on it. ;-)



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Friday, April 1, 2016

White Shirt & Gray Jeans


Instead of wearing a normal white shirt or blouse, this shirt from Zara feels so much more special and different than anything that I own. The black lines makes it just a little bit more different too. This look both looks put together, but biker chic with the Mango gray pants and Buffalo booties.









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