Category: Moments

AirBnB a must try!

Hello everyone,

Last weekend I was in France in Dunkerque and had my second AirBnB experience. It was Mike’s 27th birthday and as far as he did know we would go to France together. He did not know that two friends of us came on this trip too, we had a little surprise event planned at their house and after telling Mike that instead of just the two of us it would be with the four of us it was time to start the roadtrip to France. I had rent an AirBnB house near Dunkerque which is a surf spot in the North of France. For you who don’t know what AirBnB is I will explain it! AirBnB is a website that makes it possible for everyone to rent houses all over the world. The offer is huge, from renting a treehouse to luxury villa’s in Ibiza. Whatever you like AirBnB has it. Sometimes you prefer the cozyness of a real house instead of a hotel room. This weekend we were with friends, and cooking together and playing games around the table was one of the main things we wanted to do, just chilling out! We found that a house was a better surrounding to relax together then a hotel room.

happy birthday

AirBnB is very user-friendly, just type in the place where you want to go and when and the website will automatically show you which houses are available at that time and place and for which price. You can fill in the maximum amount you want to spend per night and how many nights you want to stay too. Be aware that with most of the houses you have to stay the minimum amount of two nights if you want to rent it. Don’t be scared to try, all places and people are checked by AirBnB itself, you don’t have to be scared that it is a waste of money. Always check out the references, they will tell you if the house was exactly like it looked like on the pictures, how the owners are and what the plus and downsides are of this house!

We stayed in this lovely little cottage with a nice garden and a balcony inside the house. We really wanted to stay! Click on the link for more pictures of the house!

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Another plus side of renting a house on the AirBnB website is that the owners of the house are most of the times locals of the area you are staying in. They can give you the best tips on which things to visit and which not! When we stayed in Dunkerque we went to a town called Bergues (Bergen) and we had a stroll around the city wall. After that we ate some celebratory icecreams! We had the best time, thanks to AirBnB and the owners of the cottage.

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Have a nice day everybody, with love Irina ♡

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Festival Survival Tips

Hello everyone,

You may have noticed that I went to a festival for my birthday(party). I went to Solar festival in the South of the Netherlands in Roermond. I went for three days with a total group of eight. When you are going to a weekend or festival you have to stay over at the festival camping. Here are my festival survival tips!

1 Pack light
Do not overpack. You have to carry a tent, an inflatable bed, a sleeping bag and a towel that is already heavy enough. Try to bring enough socks and underwear so you are clean for sure in those areas. Bring one sweater for the nighttime but bring only one outfit a day! You can wear your shorts the whole weekend, no problem!

2 Pack easy to carry bags
In the end how many or how less you pack it is always irritating to carry all your lugage from the bus to the camping area. In the summer it is hot, you get sweaty and if your stuff drops all the time you will be unhappy by the time you arrive at the camping. It does not matter how much you pack but pack easy to carry bags. Choose a backpack, or as I did a kitesurfbag and you will fit almost all your stuff in there. You put it on your back and your ready to go!

3 Help your friends and the other way around
Do you have a spare hand left? Does someone need help with putting their tent together? Help eachother! The sooner you are all ready to go to the party!

4 Bring mini size beauty related stuff 
Bring mini’s, mini shampoo or a two in one shampoo and bodywash and a mini toothpaste. It is so much easier to carry around. Also pack your liquids apart from your clothes, if they leak you have no clothes to wear.

5 Bring wipes, face, hand or body
This does not need much explanation. Festivals are dir to the tayyy. You get brown of dirt, beer and festival toilets. If you bring some wipes you feel refreshed and a lot better!

6 Bring something to sit on
This can be a towel or a mini-chair but after standing the whole day it is nice to relax in a seat or if you an sit on the floor before you go into bed or when you get out off bed.

7 Bring your breakfast or snack with you
After your first night of partying you wake up destroyed because you always party too hard the first night, it is just the excitement that has to go out I think. When the first morning arrives and the sun drives you out of your tent you want water and something to eat. Bring at least breakfast for the first morning with you. Some oatbars, apples, water or bread with spread. It will make the start of your day so much better. You do not have to stroll around to find some food in your clothes from yesterday with your hair all cray cray.

irina festival

8 Don’t mind getting dirty
When you are on a festival, you will get dirty. Do not be all Barbie like and freak out, that is not sexy. Grab a wipe, refresh your face and dance! I do not say that you should not think about your personal hygiene, there are showers on the camping and use them everyday! Wash your hands after you come from the festival toilet but do not overdo it.

9 Drink enough water

10 Bring cash money
Festival drinks and food are expensive. If you bring cash you will keep track of what youre spending. Make sure you hide your cash well enough if you leave it in the tent when you are going to the festival area.

Last but not least. ENJOY!

Hope you have a great summer everybody! With love, Irina

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Hotspot: Mama Kelly

Hello everyone,

Sunday the 02nd of August was my 24th Birthday! I had a blast, and celebrated it with friends on Solar Festival in the Netherlands. The next day I went out with my parents to grab dinner in one of the new hotspots in the Hague, Mama Kelly. The Restaurant opened in April 2015. Mama Kelly is located just outside the heart of the city on an industrial area near a canal. Plus side, because it is outside the heart of the city you have lots of parking space, for free! Mama Kelly is a bigger restaurant, or as they call themselves an Urban Bistro. The menu is quite simple, you can choose lobster or chicken, ofcourse there are also vegetarian options such as risotto and other options as fish and steak.

Mama Kelly

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Overall the main focus of the bistro lies on lobster or chicken. You can have your lobster or chicken in three different but all very tasty flavours, it is served with fries and salad. I had the lobster and it was amazing, I love to eat lobster when there is  a  special occasion. Mama Kelly is a great restaurant and the food is amazing. Because it was very sunny we ate outside on the terrace which is huge by the way!

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The service is great, it is so important for a new restaurant to have great staff it really can make or break your restaurant. Because it was my birthday I received a FREE yes, free bottle of prosecco with balloons on it from Mama Kelly. That was not all, on the bill they wrote a nice thank you note, and wished me all the best in the next year. That really made the whole Mama Kelly experience perfect.

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Overall, just go, eat, drink and have fun at Mama Kelly.

Wish you all a lovely day, Irina

 ♡

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Let the adventurer out

Hello everyone,

Yesterday I went kitesurfing with Mike and our good friend Frank. It was really windy, I had not been on the water for three months because of school and work. The timing was just not right everytime there was wind. Yesterday was the right time, finally I have holidays (vacation) right now so there was no excuse not to go. Why do I need an excuse to do something I really love? That is the question, I did not know. Sometimes life can swallow you up and you forget to do the things that make you excited and you stick to the ‘normal’ life. You think that if you do not too crazy then everything will fall in its place. Yesterday I remembered that the adventurer part in me has died over the past months because life swallowed me up in stress and busy days. The advise is GO! Go out there, let everything out, seek the thrill. It may scare you at first but afterwards you feel so relieved and happy! Let the adventurer out!

– Think a little less, live a little more –

Seek your adventure, it can be anything, anything that makes you feel alive. I can recommend watching the film ‘Paper Towns’. In the film it is all about feeling alive, and live a little more. That is also the whole reason why I started kiteboarding, I wanted to do something I thought I never could. Now I can, but that does not mean that I don’t get a thingly feeling everytime I hit the water. Life truly begins at the end of your comfort zone.

adventure

Go seek your adventure girls! It will make you so much stronger!

With love, Irina ♡

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Wednesday’s Finest

Hello everyone!

I know it has been a week since I last posted! But I have a good excuse, I was in France for a beautiful wedding of my cousin. The wedding feast lasted for three days! If you want to see some pictures head over to my Instagram account to take a sneak peak into my adventures in France. You also may notice that the website is going through some changes. This week there will be taken some new photo’s for the website and the lay-out will change. Keep your eyes pealed!

Today I will discuss my favorites of the last month and new discoveries with you in my Wednesday’s Finest!

1. My favorite perfume of the last month is Escada’s Turqouise Summer. Let me tell you, Escada knows how to rock summer scents!

2. My favorite nailpolish of this month will come as no surprise and it is the Rimmel London Ring a Ring O’Roses. This light pink makes every outfit perfect!

3. My favorite Youtuber and new discovery is Alix. Her youtube channel is icovetthee, this girl is so gorgeous she looks like Scarlett Johansson. I would love to meet her one day.

4.This month Mike surprised me and bought our first Lonely planet! It is the lonely planet about Hawaii. When reading this book I cannot wait to go, let the counting begin.

Lonely Planet Hawaii

5.With the lonely planet surprise came another gift from mike, he bought us a ‘treasure chest‘ in which we can collect our items we find on our trip. We already filled it with a necklace from Ibiza and a stone from Elba.

Treasure chest

6. My favorite outfit of this month comes from H&M.

H&M outfit

7. There have been quite a few events last month and those were all weddings. I loved them all so much, a wedding is such a beautiful thing to be a part of. Here is a picture of me and my cousins at her wedding last week in France.

Wedding France

8. Now summer is officially here I do not like to wear foundation, that is why the BodyShop BB cream is my favorite make-up item this month.

Bodyshop BB cream

9. My favorite Style Icon of this month is Whitney Port. Ever since the Hills started I loved her. I rewatched the City a hundred times, and still today she is an inspiration to me!

10. My favorite summer holiday is Ibiza, maybe, maybe we go again this summer. Fingers crossed!

I hope you enjoyed the blog. Do not forget to subscribe to be up to date!

Have a great day, with love Irina


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My week in pictures.

Hello everyone!

What a week, it was blooming hot in the Netherlands! I had an awesome week the past week and have been on the beach almost every day, or writing on my thesis! I will bring you along the past week with the pictures that I have shot for you! Most of the pictures are taken with my new phone the Sony Experia Z3 compact. Shoutout to Sony, this phone is awesome, it can go under water and has a 21 mega pixel camera.  With this phone I can make good photo’s for my blog!

On wednesday evening I hung out with friends, we ordered pizza and had a picknick at the beach. We saw the sunset, and after we chilled out at a beachclub. Just a perfect night!

 Friends

On Friday Mike and I went to a festival with lots of theathers on the festival called; De Parade in the Hague. We had a lot of fun and saw a nice show in one of the theathres called ”Love is a donut”.

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Burrito’s and nacho’s at the festival! YAM!

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Ticket for our show! It was hilarious.

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We had an awesome time! Have a nice day everyone! With love, Irina


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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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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.

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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

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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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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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