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Let's make this a year of 'less'.

6 Jan 2017

As a new year kicks in our natural urge is often to set goals, to think of what we want to achieve this year, career wise or in life. Some people want to get new job, a new house, a new body or a new boyfriend in 2017. And usually my list is pretty darn long too, but sadly enough not many boxes tend to get ticked during the course of the year. Setting too many (and sometimes somewhat unrealistic) goals can lead to feeling pressured and ultimately dissappointed. That is why I've decided to narrow it down to one thing this time, which is to be happy with less.
They say that the easiest way to have everything you need is just to be happy with what you have and I think they are right. So that's what I'm going for.

I'm going for wanting less clothes. I did already manage to buy nothing in november and most of december, but then the old splurge monster showed it's ugly head again. So now I've decided to let it run amock during sales month one last time, big time, and then buy nothing but an outfit for my sister's wedding for the rest of the year. I also plan on becoming less of a trend whore and invest more in developing my own style. If that way I can attribute to less mindless consumption, less exploitation and less pollution, I am a happy woman.

I'm also going for less career goals. I always used to feel like my job as Visual Merchandiser at C&A wasn't enough. After all I had studied Journalism, I had potential, I had fashion sense (wearas C&A is really what you'd call fashion foreward)! So I took the leap of moving to Zara for a similar function, but let's just say that experiment didn't work out so well. At least it taught me that trendy clothes don't neccesarily make the job fun, and also that extreme flexibility and working days from 8 a.m. until 19 p.m. just aren't for me. So now I am just so happy that my old empolyer was eager to take me back and I've decided that when it comes to jobs, listening to what feels right is more important than thinking about what sounds right during smalltalk conversations. Which also means that I blew off a chance of freelancing for an online fashion magazine, because it just didn't feel enough like 'me'. And you know what? That actually felt pretty good.

Add less series, less time on the phone, less negativity and less egoïsm to that and my list turned out to be quite long again anyhow. So I guess now all I can do is do my best to tick off as many boxes as I can and hope that some of you will be joining in with me.

We need to talk about the Lazy Girl.

25 Nov 2016

Earlier this week a friend of mine who is way more internetfähig than me (I swear sometimes I feel like I have no idea what the kids are up to these days), brought under my attention that the 'Lazy Girl' has been a thing around the web since, well, about a year ago.

And here I was thinking I was doing something quite original and unruly, shamelessly promoting laziness like that. Turns out the net was flooding with all sorts of Lazy Girl beauty hacks, Lazy Girl memes, Lazy Girl fitness routines, Lazy Girl sex positions and whatnot. If my quick google sesh taught me anything, it was that I am certainly not alone in my quest for a life that leaves more room for doing nothing.

But the more I scrolled and clicked through my search results, to more an uneasy feeling creeped over me.
Reading headlines like 'A lazy girl butt workout' or 'Triple topsy tails for lazy girls' it dawned one me: this socalled 'Lazy Girl' had little or nothing to do with actually being lazy and not giving a damn what other people think! No, in fact she was all about looking perfectly styled and toned and giving you the idea that looking like that was easy! Search for lazy girl on Pinterest, and you'll know what I mean.

Now, I'm not saying that everything out there wearing the Lazy Girl label is bad! On the contrary, I stumbled upon some very cool likeminded bloggers, funny memes and helpful hacks as well. Heck, I write the same sort of slightly silly 'lifestyle guides', so who am I to judge?
I guess all I really want to stress is that the most important message I'm trying to send into the world with #Idle is that I'm feeling fed up with society's constant pressure to be perfect, and that it is completely normal if you feel the same way. I'm trying to break with the stereotype that women should always have flawless manicures, spend hours on end ironing their hair and doing their make-up and sleep in sexy negligés.

Also, if I share sorts of 'lazy-hacks', I don't want to encourage you to use them so that you can live up to society's standards with minimal effort. On the contrary, I like to encourage everyone to find their own way of life, their own path to bliss and happiness. One that does not neccesarily involve climbing up the social ladder, making big career moves and striving to earn more and more money, so that you can buy the right clothes and pay for perfect looks.

Neither do I plead for a fuck-it-all-mentality that involves stuffing your face with unhealthy fast food and binge watching TLC. Because that kind of laziness really doesn't make you happy in the long run. (Though, let's be honest, a little bit of it from time to time can't hurt, ey?!)

I do plead for the kind of lazy that involves long walks in nature, time for meaningful conversation, time to sit on the couch and just let your thoughts run free. I plead for the kind of laziness that allows you to to be happy with what you have instead of constantly wanting more. I plead for the kind of laziness that facilitates a live lived slowly and with intent. And I really believe that I'm not the only one.

A foolproof guide to getting dressed.

18 Nov 2016

Putting together a decent outfit can sometimes be quite a tuff nut to crack. Especially when you're battling with the mirror on an I-don't-know-what-to-wear-day. You want to exude effortless cool, and not look too put-together, without looking overly scruffy either. But everything you try on just doesn't feel right.

To avoid this quest deteriorating into a messy pile of clothes and tears of despair on the bed, I have developed a few handy guidelines for myself. You know, just a collection of stuff I've learned while travelling along the sartorial path. You're free to profit from my experience should you whish so.
1. Start by picking a central piece: a thrifted statement jacket, your super comfy oversized sweater, those new patent loafers,... Any piece in your wardrobe that you really feel like wearing today.

2. Add up some ol' time faves: your black biker that goes well with anything, the jeans that hugs your bod in all the right places, your perfect white T-shirt, and so on.

3. Check if your outfit is appropriate for the occasion you're dressing for: Are you going on a job interview? Then maybe consider changing your biker for a classic black bazer. Are you going for a walk in the park? Then you might want to opt for sneakers instead of heeled ankle boots.

4. If you haven't already: add a third piece to your outfit. A third piece you say? Yes. There's this "rule" that your outfit should always count three pieces (shoes and bag not take into account). So instead of just wearing jeans and a T-shirt, you should wear jeans, a T-shirt and a sleeveless jacket, or a blazer, or little silk scarf around your neck. Now I'm not really one for following rules when it comes to getting dressed. This one however does make perfect sense to me.

5. Another tip I'd like to give you: come prepared. Meaning that making up outfits in your head or even writing them down or taking pictures of them is not a crime. When doing this try to include some regularly returning items in every outfit (like a bag, a pair of sneakers, your favourite sunglasses or best pair of jeans). This will not only create cohesion in your personal style, but also make every look feel like 'you'. And in the end, isn't that is the point?

5 easy and healthy breakfasts.

11 Nov 2016

In the hustle and the bustle of the average work week a healthy breakfast often ends up dangeling at the bottom of my priority list. A quick round of surveying amongst my co-workers tought me that I am not at all alone in this. One of them contents herself with a cup of coffee and a slice of whitebread with jam, another swears by coco pops with soy milk, I myself eat peanut butter toast with a cup of earl grey most of the days, but I must say the one that opts for nothing but a nasty smelling sugary energy drink is probably the worst off.

Quite sad, since not only is our breakfast our most important meal - or so we are told - , it can also be a source of sheer joy when well executed. So, not only for myself, but also for those of you who tend to lack inspiration in the morning: I made a list of 5 easy, quick, healthy and tasty breakfasts to get us through the working week.
Most things do take some preparation in advance, but then again, are there really better ways to spend a Sunday than baking? (Of course now you're goig all like: Uh duh, yes, there are! And you wouldn't be all together wrong. But hey, I'm just trying to help, okay? And think of all the joy your hard work will bring you in the early, cold, sad and lonely hours of the working week!)


1. Pancakes with red berries and coconut flakes

They look good, don't they? Well, I'll tell you how to make 'em: Throw together 5 eggs, 200g greek yoghurt or cream cheese,70g almond flour, 30g coconut flour (you can also use tigernut flour or mix with wheat flour if you like). Mix all ingredients until fully combined. Melt some coconut butter in a small pan and scoop in a small amount of batter. Bake for about 1min on each side (bake the first side with a lid on). This makes about 8 pancakes. You can put these babies in the deepfreezer, wrapped per two and just take them out the night before you plan on eating them. Top them with some fresh berries and finish them off with some coconut flakes.


2. Homemade granola with greek yoghurt and pear

Why make granola yourself, when there are so many yummy supermarket alternatives you ask? Because the one you can buy in the store are all basically sugar-ridden. This (almost) sugar free granola (based on a recipe by Nigella Lawson) however is guilt-free and that makes it so much better! To make it you need an oven at 150°C, a large baking tray lined with parchmet paper, 450g oatmeal, 100g flax seeds, 100g sunflower seeds, 2 tblsp coconut flakes, 25g of cocoa, 1 tsp ground ginger, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt, 6 tblsp of maple syrup or honey, 200g apple sauce, 2 tblsp of coconut oil. Bake for about 45 mins and stir occasionally.
Serve with some yoghurt or milk. Combines very well with slices of pear (raw or slightly baked in coconut oil or butter).


3. Chia Pudding with blueberries and fresh mint

Stirr together 1/4 cup of chia seeds with 1 cup of coconut milk. Cut your blueberries half and mix with a few leaves of freshly chopped mint. If desired you can add a teaspoon of maple syrup or honey for extra sweetness. Let it both rest overnight in the fridge and serve your blueberries on top of your pudding in the morning.


4. Oatmeal Porridge with peanutbutter, sliced banana and sunflower seeds

Combine milk and oats (about half a cup is enough for me) in pan and heat until the milk is thickened and the oatmeal flakes have softened. Add some extra milk if the porridge become all too thick and sticky. Melt in a spoonful of peanut butter and serve in a breakfast bowl with some sliced banana on top.


5. Banana Bread with cream cheese, pecan nuts and honey

For this yummy number (based on a recipe by The minimalist baker) you need 3 ripe bananas, 1 egg, 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract, 3 tblsp coconut oil, melted, 2-3 tblsp honey, 4 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 200 ml milk, 150g almond flour, 150g oats, 150g wheat flour. Mix all ingredients and transfer to a greased baking tin. Bake for an hour or 15 mins more at 175°C.
You can spread a slice of this delicious moisty banana cakebread with basically everything from nutella to strawberry jam, but I really like it with a thick layer of cream cheese (like Philadelphia), some pecan nuts and honey drizzled on top.
Just like your pancakes, you can store this banana bread in the freezer, sliced and wrapped in ready-to-go portions.

A city guide to Maastricht.

4 Nov 2016

If you're looking for an #idle style weekend getaway (read, one that has all the perks of the big city life such and great coffee bars and creative shops, without being too big, busy and overwhelming) Maastricht is definitely a go-to. I've visited it on numerous occasions and have really grown to love the place.
Now, this city guide was supposed to be divided into 3 neat categories. You know, the usual: 'eat/drink', 'shop', 'see/do'. But then it turned out Maastricht's best places aren't the kind you can easily put in boxes, and I do believe that that is actually what I like best about this pretty little city.

Le Marais Deux & Koffie
This nice place is a fusion between a store and a coffee bar. Le Marais Deux sells lovely stationary (the notebooks from Crisp Sheets are my faves) and great selection of sneakers (did you know that for every pair of Toms that you buy, a person in need receives a pair of shoes?) amongst other things. Koffie bij Joost en Maartje provides great coffee and super chai lattes in the adjoining room. The sturdy wooden tables make for a perfect breakfast nook, or a lovely setting to take a break in the afternoon.

I think it's safe to say that this place has the best burgers in town. So far I have tasted the lamb burger with feta and olives and the wagyu burger with onion compote and tarragon mayo. Both were over-the-top delicious.

We-ar vintage
At We-ar Vintage they offer a nice range of fur coats, denim jackets and croco purses. I spotted the most perfect red leather fringe jacket when I was last there, but was sadly on a shopping stop (and still am!), so no cowgirl jackets for me.

This local sourced bakery has its own water mill for grinding flour. Their spelt bread is yummy and so are their 'vlaaien' (a kind of fruitpie typical for the region).

Great stationary, lamps, small deco objects and jewellery are to be found at Festen. They also make a mighty good carrot cake and a pretty decent pot of earl grey tea. Don't forget to check out their second shop for more goodies, right across the street.

Traders Pop
Scandi style with a bit of a Hiphop vibe meets thrift shop is kind of the best way I can describe Traders Pop. Pop in here for a nice selection of arty magazines, Cheap Monday jeans, Fjällräven backpacks and sailor hats.

Dominicanen Boekhandel 
Set in a former church, this bookstore is probably the prettiest one ever. No suprising book selection here, but the architecture and the second hand section on the second floor are definitely worth checking out.

The Bonnefantenmuseum exhibits a selection of old masters as well as modern and contemporary art. A lovely place to spend a Sunday morning!

This old factory building turned arthouse cinema also houses a super cute bar (order the veggie croquettes if you're in for a greasy snack or appetiser) and a fabulous restaurant (I can strongly recommend the lamb köfte as a main dish and the french toast with poached figs and vanilla curd for dessert). Lumière is not exactly in the town center, but for the architecture and interior design alone this place is worth the detour.

Take five
If you're looking for the place m'as-tu vu to have a drink in the evening, Take five is where you wanna go. And on a plus: the cocktails are delicious!