Month: June 2015

Zen life on the beach

Hello everyone!

Summer has officially started and this week there is a heatwave in the Netherlands! I love the sun, but unfortunately I miss out on the sun this week, because I will be in the library all day to work on my Master thesis. But no sad times, this blogpost will be on how to stay zen in the stressful times at school, work or anything else. All you need is an outdoor space you can relax and clear your mind. For me, my outdoor space is the beach, it does not matter which beach, every beach is perfect! Yesterday I literally lost my motivation and felt so stressed about school that I decided to put my running clothes on and just run, run, run. I ran for about 5 kilometers along the side of the beach and every time I wanted to stop I told myself to push a little bit harder and keep running. Running, or just sporting in general can lay your focus from stress related stuff to fun things, being active really helps you to relief stress and gain self-consciousness about your body, mind and inner self. After I did my 5K run I walked over to the sea and dipped my feet in the water, cold water helps you to calm down, literally. I do not mean a cold shower but dipping your feet or hands in cold water for a few minutes will help you to relax.

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My number 1 tip is just go outside, put your workload aside for an hour and then go back to work and you will start with a lot of new motivation. Sometimes things have to be done, no matter how irritating they are for you. Have a breather and go! You can do it, never think you cannot. Another tip is to listen to powerful music, put on some power songs that make you happy and it will energize you to do stuff! Sleeping well is also of a big importance to improve your concentration.

beach scheveningen

I hope you found the tips helpful and good luck everybody with school and work!

With love, Irina♡

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Fit Food

Hello everyone,

Disclaimer: I do not write this post to say that people need to be skinny or should be losing weight. It is just that I adjust my food in order not to gain weight when I don’t have time to work out. Everyone is beautiful and it is just about the feeling you should have in your skin. Never judge others on their weight.

Since last year I kind of have been stuck with my ass on a chair to study, study and do some more studying. All my life I have been pretty sporty except from the period when I was 15 until 16 when I was a rebel teenager and found boys more interesting than working out. But for the rest of the time I was horseriding, for 15 years more than twice a week at least. After horseriding I discovered surfing from the age of 17, and I started kitesurfing when I was 20. Now, the last 3 months escpecially have been very sportless, and I don’t like that. Working out makes you happy, fit, feeling better in your skin and more energetic and I must admit I miss that feeling. Because I do not have time to work out in the coming weeks either because of my thesis writing process (which goes very slow) I thought I should plan my meals so that I don’t ‘over’ eat when I am not excercising. So Mike and I went onto the bodyenfitshop website and ordered some healthy stuff.

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To start off we bought some healthy bread spreads, you know we as Dutch people love our bread and cheese, but it is not the most healthy option everyday. We also bought some superfood meusli, you don’t need much you will feel very full after I promise! And some superfood rice crackers they always come in handy when you need a snack.
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We bought some vitamin pills for men and for women cause you know, we are getting older too, and we need those vitamins! Then I also got, and that is where I am the most exited about, the smart protein powder to make shakes! This powder can replace one of your meals during the day. It has all the important stuff your body needs but not the calories. This powder is what I use to stay the same weight as I am right now. The shakes make you feel full, so you can survive the afternoon without cravings for snacks.

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The good thing about the Body & Fit shop is that over a certain amount of money I think 30 euro you get some free gifts. This time we got pancake mix and a pink shaker bottle which I am obsessed with. For if you don’t know pink is my favorite colour.

Have a wonderful day everybody, and be sportive!

With love Irina♡

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Roadtrip adventures in Italy

Hello everyone!

I have had a week off, Mike and I had a friend’s wedding in Italy and we decided to make it into a roadtrip holiday. Last year we also did a roadtrip and it was amazing, so we were ready for another roadtrip adventure this time in Italy! We left the 9th of June and drove to Colle Val D’elsa in Tuscany which was a long ride of 16 hours and 15 minutes. We booked a cute Bed&Breakfast near the location of the wedding the next day. For the red wine lovers amongst us the wedding was in Chianti in Castellina, Chianti is famous for its delicious red wine. It was the first time for us in Tuscany, a dream come true because I always wanted to go there. The best way to describe Tuscany in three words are hills, orange houses and food. Whilst we were in Tuscany we visited Sienna and it was amazing, one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. We had a nice dinner on the big ‘piazza’ or square as we say and ate huge icecreams and I felt like a real Italian for a minute. After two days it was time to go to our next destination: Rome.

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

We had a little bit of bad luck because we had a flat tire so we arrived at Rome a few hours later than planned. As soon as we landed at our Bungalow in a nice Bungalowpark in Rome we took the bus and metro to get to the heart of the city to get some dinner. Funny fact, when we were walking in Rome I thought that I saw the Pantheon, I took some photo’s and was pretty exited. After 200 meters of walking away from what I thought was the Pantheon was the real one, looking 10 times better than the ‘other Pantheon’. Make sure you know your statues everyone! We had a nice dinner in one of the streets full of restaurants around the Pantheon, we ate pasta carbonara which comes originally from Rome so we had to eat it whilst we were in Rome. The next day we had a full day in Rome, we were destined to see everything and we only had one day left. The good thing in Rome is that everything is within a walking distance from eachother. If you have the possibility to rent a bike do so, but I can recommend walking around Rome too! We did saw almost everyhting, we walked straight on for nine hours and then we went home.

Some of the highlights we saw
1. Pantheon
2. Collosseum (and went inside)
3. Forum Romanum (amazing and huge)
4. Spanish steps
5. Piazza Navona (nice artists around!)
6. Vatican city (only the outside because it was closed)
7. San Angelo church (Angels & Demons film)

Vatican city

Collosseum

After a few busy days it was time to drive to the beach (Piombino) and do some relaxing. Ofcourse always when we want to relax we cannot. As soon as we arrived in our appartement we made plans to go to Elba, on of the islands of Italy the next day. There was a nice restaurant on the beach close to our appartment where we ate for two nights in a row. It was amazing and I will insert some photo’s down below. We had a nice day at Elba and enjoyed our last day of our holiday, we stayed at Sansone beach apparently one of the nicest beaches in Elba and had some good fun!

Elba

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

I hope you enjoyed my travel diary and I would love to hear about your holiday plans for this summer! With love, Irina ♡

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Drugstore Haul, holiday edition

Hello everyone,

Because I planned to go on holiday I went to the drugstore to pick up some beauty essentials. As we speak I am in Italy now! Me and my boyfriend are in Italy for a week, we are doing a little roadtrip. From our house in the Hague we leave to Florence, which is a 14 hour ride. We will stay there for two days and then head off to Rome. After two days in Rome we will drive to Piombino a small town near Pisa where we have booked an appartment for two days to relax at the beach and enjoy a little rest moment!

Here I will show you the things I bought at the drugstore as my summer beauty essentials to take with me on holiday! On holidays I do not want to wear much make up, I just fill in my brows, put some mascara on, a little bronzer and lipgloss and I am ready to lay in the sun or stroll around the city of Rome in this case.

On my shopping spree I bought the Rimmel London Brow This Way in medium brown. I love that there is a brown wax and a brown powder in the packaging and the brush inside is very handy to make your eyebrows look like Cara Delevigne’s. The Lipgloss I bought is from L’oreal Paris just as my new bronzer is too. The lipgloss is from the xtreme resist line in No. 505 Never Let Me Go. It’s all in the name because you can literally eat, drink, kiss and your lipgloss is still on! It does not feel sticky, and it is a sheer lipgloss but it gives a ‘your lips but better’ idea. Back to the bronzer, I always used the Bourjouis bronzer the one that smells like chocolat, but it was time to try something new from the drugstore banwagon and the L’oreal Glambronze La Terra looked very appealing to me! The Glambronze has a nice touch of shimmer but it is not too much. Now I only need to get tanned! 

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I got the Suncream and Aftersun from Rituals as a gift from my mother. I already used the aftersun because I burned myself while canoeing in Amsterdam. Yes that happens when you forgot to put on the suncream than you have to put on loaaads of aftersun. But the redness was gone in one day, love this aftersun! It smells amazing too!

IMG_20150609_154136[1]I also bought a new nailpolish, again a Rimmel one, but I just love Rimmel London’s nailpolishes. Sidenote, they do chip within a few days, but the colors are just so wonderful! I bought a light pink one in No. 262 Ring a Ring O’roses. After applying it your hands look so tanned already which is another bonus point! The shampoo and conditioner I bring with me are from the new line of John Frieda called BEACHBlonde. It is especially made for blond, tangly and vulnerable hair. The shampoo and conditioner both have a very minty scent which makes you feel extra refreshed. As my bodywash I brought my all time favorite and that is the Palmolive Aromatherapy relaxing douchegel. If you ever can, smell it! It is my all all all time favorite.  IMG_20150609_153954[1]I would love to hear what your summer beauty essentials are and where you are going on holiday! With love, Irina


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Luxembourg trip

Hello everyone!

As I told you in my previous blogpost I went to Luxembourg last week for a study trip.
I went from Wednesday the 3rd of June until Friday the 5th. We left very early on Wednesday morning from Leiden Centraal to go to Luxembourg by train. It was a 6 hour train journey to get there. Normally when you go on holiday to France or anywhere else in Europe, Luxembourg is the country where you stop to refuel your car (because of cheap petrol) but I never went to Luxembourg to actually stay on holiday. When we arrived I didn’t know what to expect, but wat a surprise, Luxembourg is beautiful! Luxembourg is a very small but beautiful country, I compare it with Monaco it looks pretty much the same only without the sea! Luxembourg city is build around a valley, walls are surrounding the city and the houses are in the valley. Since luxembourg city has expanded there are also houses around the walls and there is an area up the hill where some of the European Institutions are build together with for example the Chamber of Commerce of Luxembourg.

Luxembourg

Luxembourg has a great variety of bars and restaurants, going out is fun! Luxembourg also has an awesome shopping area, it is not really big but they do have all the shops you need. They have a Sephora so that is enough ladies, we are happy already.

European Investment Bank

When in Luxembourg we visited two European Institutions, the European Investment Bank and the European Court of Auditors. The European Investment Bank does what the name tells you already, it invests in projects (not member states) in Europe to keep the economy going. The European Court of Auditors audits of the money of the European budget is well spend. The European Court of Auditors is kind of the administrative body of Europe. We also visited the Ducth Ambassy in Luxembourg, we were able to meet the Ambassador at his residence which was amazing. WHAT A HOUSE, we felt like princesses and princes and drunk champagne while having a stroll around the garden.

Ambassade

We also visited the casemates in Luxembourg, these are the tunnels build in the walls to protect the city. I insert a picture here so you have a slight idea! If you want to visit Europe, definitely check out Luxembourg too!

Casemates

Hope you enjoyed the blog! Have a great day, with love Irina

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DESIGN.

Hello everyone!

First of all I wanted to thank you for the support, my blog has had so many views recently I couldn’t be happier. Today we will talk about design and home stuff. Last Saturday I was at the Design festival in the Hague called ‘Designkwartier’ or in English Design quarter. It was a beautiful day and there were lots of foodtrucks and pop-up bars outside. I can say it was quite a feast. I am not a homewear or design professional or whatsoever, and usually I do not go to this kind of things but two friends of my went and I joined and I absolutely loved it! On the other hand I do have a soft spot for watching TV programmes about redecorating houses or gardens. Yes I know, super lame but I could bingewatch them if they were on TV the whole evening.

The design festival was really interesting and we had the opportunity to go into buildings and houses and look at so many designers and ways of how people would decorate their home. I love the fact that everything is handmade, and that there is love and passion in the product you buy. Another nice thing is that your piece is unique or at least quite rare. I will insert some pictures of the festival here.

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Designkwartier

Last year in January me and my boyfriend moved in together and we had to decorate our home together which was so much fun. We both really love things made of wood and we like white furniture. Our interior is based on Nordic design, sleek, a lot of wood, whites and a little bit of darker grey and black colours as a detail. For example our kitchen and bathroom are black and white. (For some pictures of our house just take a scroll through some older instagram photo’s of me @irinavannamen). Also take a look on my Pinterest where I pinned a lot on my homestuff page!

When we were on holiday in Copenhagen me and Mike scrolled through some interior and design shops, you can’t avoid them they are everywhere and you literally want everything inside of them. One of our favorite ones was Boffi. Take a look on their website, and it will have you dreaming about your future home!

For now, I will go to bed. This week I am going to Luxembourg on a school trip and I am visiting the European Investment Bank and the Dutch Ambassy there! A blogpost about the trip will be up next week.

 P.S: On the festival I saw these ‘corkers’, I thought this is amazing to give as a small gift to somebody just for fun! IMG_20150530_155948[1]

With love, Irina ♡

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