Dashingly Elevating

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

Monday, August 14, 2017

Just Keep Swimming

I recently moved gyms and that's the best decision I made all summer. I love it there! I am spending a fortune every month, but it's so chic! They have a huge fitness space and guess what? No loud music! They have many classes to chose from and I'm attending two different yoga classes every week.

But the best part of my gym is... the indoor swimming pool! I'm such a water rat. Really feel like a fish in the water. I feel so free when I'm in there. Love how my heart is racing when I'm speeding too. It's a great cardio and muscle training work out since you use all muscles. Afterwards I feel so lean! And when I'm done with my 50 laps, I take a 15 minute steam at one of the three different sauna's available. It's truly the best workout for me and so relaxing for my mind as well.

Last Thursday I had a not so fun experience with a friend and I swam it all out. Swimming is different for me then fitness as it won't have any distractions or so many noises. It's just me and my lane.

When we were in Italy this summer, one of my favorite things to do was swimming or just spending time in the water. Ever since I was a little girl I have been good at swimming and just a love for any type of water: sea, lake or pool, you name it!

Two years ago we went to Indonesia and went snorkeling for a day. The best moment was when I saw a huge turtle swimming below me. I often think of that moment when I need to calm myself down.

So I guess swimming is more for me than just a workout: it's kind of a therapy.

If all else fails: Just keep swimming!

Picture source: 1 & 2


Friday, August 11, 2017

Happy August!

I know I'm a bit late with this one but: happy August!! This month can't get any better because on August 1st I got back my exam results and found out I graduated from University!!

So no matter what the rest of August will bring, I won't get this smile of my face! :-) 

The only thing I'm a little sad about is that summer seems to be over, at least here in the Netherlands. Temperatures won't rise above 22C degrees, if the predictions can be trusted. Which of course, can be nice, but I just hope for one more week (or at least weekend!) of 30C degrees so that we can lay outside and work on our tans!

The past few weekends (apart from going out and celebrating my graduation) I've been working on my study room at home and transforming it into a home office. I really like the results so far and I can't wait to share the end results with you.

Happy August everyone!

Picture source


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Our Vacation In Italy

I mean, look at the color of this sea...

We are already back for a couple of weeks (really, a week of vacation in Italy is too short!) but I wanted to share these pictured. Get ready for lots of beach and food pictures of south Italy!

Holiday already started on board.

Prosecco and Porter magazine on the beach

Look at this view for lunch...

Ice cream which melted so quickly but so good!

This lunch spot had the best view of the entire week!

Drinks before dinner.

Best anti-pasti!

My view for most days.

The occasional pool day.


Monday, August 7, 2017

Introducing: The New Logo!

Surprise, a new blog logo! Hope you all like it! 


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I Graduated From University!!


Now I can officially state that I graduated as Bachelor of Business Administration with a minor in Marketing from Royal Holloway, University of London.

After three years of studying next to my full time job, I finally graduated! I had my last exams in May and had to wait for almost three months for the results. I saw my results when I was at work at 9:38 AM, so early! I immediately started calling friends and family and it was so nice to tell my colleagues directly. My manager took us all out for a nice lunch to celebrate!

In the evening at home we had my favorite champagne, got flowers and was taken out to dinner. It was the perfect way to celebrate!

The next day I brought muffins for my team to celebrate some more. And can't wait for this weekend to start to celebrate even more and dance!!

The exam results are more than satisfactory, didn't expect it but this was my best year yet!! It takes a lot of motivation to study every evening after work and on weekends as well. All Sundays were dedicated to study. But if I didn't like studying and wasn't as motivated, my results wouldn't be as good.

It's funny how I got more and more nervous as the day of the results came closer. I even had nightmares that I failed the exams a couple of times! Loved how someone said that he never doubted me and always knew I would graduate!

So so proud of myself and my family, friends and colleagues are as well. So glad that I had this great support system during the past three years. Studying full time online next to a full time job (three years in three years) can be tough, but totally worth it!!

Can't wait to fly to London for the ceremony!!


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Happy Summer!

Happy summer everyone! Although we already quite had a few summer days, now it's official. The first week of summer we had a true heatwave, oye! But last weekend it was cooling off already. 

And guess what? This week we're going to Italy! Now I'm not so sad that the warmth has dropped here since we'll have lots of sun ahead!


Monday, June 26, 2017

A Cloudy Sunday

I can now spend my Sundays however I want since I'm done with university. Last weekend I was in Arnhem until Sunday eve. It was a super warm and sunny weekend and we spent the whole Saturday at the spa.

This weekend however, was a bit more cloudy and rainy even. My Saturday was fully booked but I spent the Sunday as I wanted it. Reading the weekend edition of a newspaper, swimming in my new gym and sweating in the sauna next to the pool. I absolutely love my new gym and I think it's really worth its money.

I bought some new books for our vacation and I already started on one. Love these Sundays, sunny or not!


Friday, June 9, 2017

We Are Going To Italy!

Celebrating that we booked our holiday with Pinot Grigio!

We finally booked our holiday and we're already counting down the days to our vacation to the very south of Italy! It's only one year ago since I went to Rome for the second time, but there's never enough of Italy when it comes to vacationing there!

Last year I went to Morocco for my summer holiday, but it wasn't exactly a relaxing vacation as we toured through the country and visited a lot of cities. To top it all off, I climbed the highest mountain of Northern Africa: Mt. Toubkal!

But this year I really wanted something different, I wanted a relaxing vacation. Swimming, eating, napping, tour a little city and repeat. ;-) Really need that after three years of studying. This year during my exams in May, I felt more exhausting than the previous years. Or I forgot how it felt, that's possible too. ;-)

Now I'll have to practice my Italian again since I'm the only one of the two speaking the language!


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Hey June - School Is Out Forever

I'm back!! Exams are finally over! And after three years of studying new to my fulltime job, I can finally say, school is out forever!! I won't get my results back until August, but that doesn't mean I get to be nervous throughout summer.

I took a couple of weeks "off" (still went to work) by not blogging on here as well. Had absolutely no obligations during my time off, except for cleaning and other household chores. 

Must say that I really missed blogging (as I always do after being absent for a little while) and I have so much to share! A lot of things are going on right now and I can't wait to keep you updated again. I will write about my life, fashion, career, travel and of course other things on my mind as you've been expecting of my.

For now, thank you for sticking around and being patience! As always, you can follow me on my Instagram: @DashinglyElevating. 

Happy June and come back here on Friday for some news!

Picture source


Monday, May 1, 2017

Happy May - Exams Are Starting!

Happy May!! Do you know what this month is? Exam month!! The first exam week has officially started!! Aaaah! My first exam of the five will be tomorrow afternoon. First exams of the three years that doesn't start at 10 in the morning... I rather have it in the morning and just get it over with...

The exams are spread out in three weeks! Last exam is on the 18th. Counting down the days until I can finally do whatever I want on my free evenings after work and on the weekends. 

This weekend I kept it low key and we stayed in on Friday evening. Saturday breakfast was this lovely spread as you can see above, but then it was studying all day again.

Sunday wasn't any different except that I woke up with a sore shoulder. Again. So in the afternoon I had an hourlong sports massage. Second this month! It feels so so good, especially on the parts I have a knot in my muscles. 

The past few weeks and the coming weeks will be slow on the blog here, and on my instagram as well. But this will be the last straws and we all know the last mile is the longest. After that I'll have time for all the things I've been putting off for months! These will be my very last exams until graduation and I couldn't be more excited. I've worked so hard in the past three years, this is it!

Good luck to all other fellow students all over the world who also have their exams in May!!


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Long Easter Weekend

Hope everyone had a great Easter weekend! We in the Netherlands had Monday off as well for Second Easter day so we had a three day weekend. And it couldn't have come at a better time. My exams start in two (!) weeks and I'm so stressed for that! Really needed a break from my daily routine and an extra day off. 

On Saturday I went to Lindsey's for high tea. And omg she made such a feast! It looked so pretty and the sandwiches were exactly as you get them at a restaurant high tea! Really felt it was Eastern time. We had so much fun and talked and talked that we forgot the time until we noticed it was 8pm so I stayed for dinner. Then we continued to chat the whole evening as well!

On Easter Sunday I went to Amsterdam to meet my family for brunch at Krasnapolsy. I was there before for drinks and high tea. Omg everything was so good and pretty plated! There were even oysters. We started with a cold buffet and a warm buffet after with meat and salmon. And if you know me, salmon is my favorite! But that wasn't the biggest surprise, but the desserts were! Loved that the desserts weren't in a buffet form but served on trays like a high tea. There were so many chocolates and cakes and macarons, seriously the best!

After the brunch I walked through Amsterdam and did a little shopping. Too bad the weather wasn't nice but that didn't let me from taking pictures!

Carnaval at The Dam


Friday, April 7, 2017

My New Favorite Healthy Breakfast

I'm getting a new take on what I'm eating lately and it's getting some tweaks here and there. Not only do I want to eat less bread, but I also want to eat (at least in the coming 7 weeks) foods which will be a healthy benefit to my body and brain because of my exams. Healthy body = healthy mind.

One of the major changes is that I have incorporated dairy again. Lactose free yoghurt that is. If I would eat normal yoghurt in these amounts, my stomach wouldn't handle it well. The reason for me eating yoghurt is that it it is very filling, great protein source, low carb and best alternative if you don't want to eat soy (like me). My normal breakfast would contain two slices of spelt bread with peanut butter and jelly or pb and banana. Really satisfying and not even that unhealthy. In the weekends I would make oatmeal, but my new breakfast is just much more fulfilling and tasty.

I made my own trail mix of mixed nuts, sunflower seeds, raisins, dried cranberries, chocolate covered seeds, mulberries and chia seeds on top.

I find this so satisfying and so yummy! The yoghurt contains lots of protein and is very filling itself, but the nots have healthy fats and is very filling as well. The dried fruits, mulberries and chocolate covered seeds add a little sweetness to it which curbs my sweet tooth.

To make it even healthier I add half a banana. Seriously, this keeps me full till lunch! Also love that it has so many textures and flavors, every bite is different!

I keep my mix in a big jar

4 tbs of trail mix

Mix, add banana and chia seeds and enjoy!


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Eating Our Way Through Antwerp

Saturday coffee break with a little rice cake

Last Friday I wrote that I would write another post on our trip to Antwerp, except now only with pictures of our food. And the food did not disappoint! We basically only ate Belgian foods which is of course necessary when you're visiting another country.

Friday night started with champagne in the hotel (which he brought from home, such a sweet surprise!) and then some more champagne at the restaurant. My appetizer was a shrimp croquet. So so good!

My entree was pig which recommended wine. Loved that at the menu they had all beer and wine recommendations. They had beer recommendations at every restaurant which is not that weird as Belgium is a very good wine country!

The only place I visited for the seconde time was Horte. Years ago I had lunch here with two Italian friends and also had the caesar salad and a white wine. This happens to be my favorite lunch: caesar salad, white wine and fries with mayo. Perfect! My company just made the whole experience a little sweeter. ;-)

On Saturday evening we went to "De Rooden Hoed" which we found on the internet when we looked at the hotel. We both had baked mussels which were really good! 

For main course I had rabbit. Omg so tender and tasty!

On Sunday we basically felt over eaten. The breakfast at the hotel was very big an varied, so it was hard not to try it all. Of course, we had to eat a 'sugar waffle' while we were here. We have these in the Netherlands as well, but these tasted much better. ;-)

I didn't take a picture of the lunch we had at the terrace, but I had duck salad. Yummy!

Want to see more of my food pics? Follow me on instagram: @DashinglyElevating 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Happy April!

Happy April! Now that it is April it means two things. One: exams are in 4 weeks (yikes!). Two: exams will be over in 7 weeks (yay!). Four weeks doesn't seem far away at all, however seven weeks seems like a lifetime away...

In the week after our weekend to Antwerp I got a little stomach bug and gave myself a break from studying. A break that lasted a whole week (from Thursday to Friday). Now I don't know if I did the right thing, but I really needed it to regain some energy. First of all to get better, second of all to get energy and to get motivated again for studying. This Saturday and Sunday I studied for hours on both days and that makes me feel good!

Last Friday evening a friend and I went to see Beauty and the Beast. And omg, I loved it! Even better than I could imagine. Seriously would love to see the movie again and again. Gaston and LeFou were brilliantly casted and made me LOL.

Loved all the songs they sang and my favorite lyric (since years): "With a dreamy far off look, and her nose stuck in a book" (see my Twitter). They did added some songs, but they had to to tell the complete story. Never realized Disney didn't tell the whole story. But to be honest, those questions didn't occur to me either. If I may say one negative thing, is the fakeness of the Beast. With the technology today, they could have done so much better. Also: I love Emma Thompson!
No go and see it! "Be our guest!"

I'm also really looking forward to Easter. Luckily, in the Netherlands, we have two Easter days. Which means, we'll have Monday the 17th off! Which basically means studying all day for me but I don't care. Sunday I'll go to Amsterdam to have brunch at Krasnapolsky. So excited!

Also loving the weather lately. It's been up and down lately but I don't mind when it gets colder on the weekends since I'll be locked up anyway.

It's beginning to look like Spring!

Picture source

Friday, March 31, 2017

A Weekend In Antwerp

Overlooking the big market

Last weekend we took a short (but oh so needed) trip to Antwerp, Belgium. It was really rewarding because we were outside of the country and really away from daily life. In Antwerp, they also speak Dutch, but because of the accent, the different architecture, different food and drinks, we really felt like we were on a short vacation.

We started driving on Friday afternoon after work. Normally it's only a one (!) hour drive from Rotterdam, but we hit a little traffic. Not that we didn't mind it because more songs to sing along to! We only made one stop for gas and Starbuck.
That's what I really love about Europe. Just a few hours driving and you're in a totally different country with a totally different scenery and culture!

Showing how happy he is to be in Antwerp ;-)

This was just the front of a store, no big deal

The Cathedral at night

Because we basically ate and drank our way around Antwerp, I will write another post with all of those pictures. I didn't realize how tired I was (new job, exams in May) until I completely relaxed. And maybe a city trip doesn't sound relaxing, but we took it slow. We did whatever we felt like and didn't overdo anything. We both visited the city several times, so sight seeing wasn't really on our list.

On Sunday I had in mind that we would visit a museum. But we had a relaxed breakfast (thankfully breakfast was until 11 AM at the hotel!) and after strolled around the market. Because it was such good weather, we decided going inside would be a waste. Instead we opted for lunch out on a terrance and I actually got a tan!

All in all, it was the perfect little escape which couldn't have come at a better time!

 Last time I was in Belgium, I was in Ghent for work. You can see the blog post here.

Want to see my real time travel pics? Follow me on instagram: @DashinglyElevating 
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