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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