Wednesday, April 25, 2018

How to shift your mind to focusing on the good stuff

We all have these days where nothing seems to go right.
We get out of bed and bump our toe. We make a cup of coffee, but you end up with something that looks like tea and does not even resemble the taste of coffee because the filter folded in your machine. You get to work. Late of course, because there was a never ending traffic jam. Therefor our boss is upset with us because we didn't give them a call. (Driving and calling? Nope) 

That co-worker seems extra snotty today and we are in a horrible mood by afternoon.

Everybody would have experienced the above or at least their own version of it.
And those days can feel like heavens especially selected us to be picked on that day. If we do not shift our minds it is just a big spiral downward from there.

Luckily for me it doesn't happen that much anymore. But today I caught myself thinking. 'O my god, these customers are hags and trolls. It's going to be a day like that.'
But then I stopped. I listened to myself picking up the phone and realize that my voice wasn't quite as cheerful and light as it usually is.
It would make sense that customers would react to that way of introducing myself. The first thing I did was to make myself smile and adjust my voice back to light and cheerful.
By changing my tone, I started to change my day. 

I had to deal with a few more difficult customers but showed tons of empathy, patience and willingness to help. 
By afternoon my day had turned around and I no longer felt the need to press my mute button and let out all of sorts creative swearings that do happen on a customer service workfloor.
Sidenote: please be patient with friendly customer service people that do their jobs and actually want to help.

But how did I turn my day around exactly? I realized that being moody was just not going to cut it and decided to shift my mind to focusing on the good stuff.
Here's a few things that may help.

Start out your day positive

I am not exactly a peach in the morning. I need to have time to wake up properly.

I like to start out my day with a morning uplift from The honest guys. They make beautiful visualisations on youtube and I just love listening to them!
It will only take about 5 minutes and you will feel so much better. This I promise you.

You may also want to set some intentions for your day and focus on those.
You could write them down on little post it notes and look at them once in a while.

Keep in mind that intentions are not the same as your to do-list. Whilst your to-do list may be the important things that you need to get done, an intention is more of a statement.

An example of one of my intentions:

I practice random acts of kindness everyday.


Practice little moments of mindfulness

I wrote about mindfulness before. It just helps to plan in little mini breaks and see how you are feeling at this particular moment. Rushing through the day is not going to do you and people around you any good. By taking that mini break and really listen to myself I found that my tone of voice needed a change.
On my next mini break I found that I was probably too impatient and refocused on showing more of that. Instead of spiraling down, my day went up from there.


A big key in mindfulness is acceptance. Sometimes you just need to accept the present moment and deal with it with more awareness. Make it a thing. It's essential if you want to know how to shift your mind into focusing on the good stuff!
Realize that there's 99% of how you react to things that can make all the change. Your attitude towards it is key. You will not be able to control that traffic jam, but when you get frustrated you are only losing precious energy. Maybe put on nice music, or use the time to come up with new, creative ideas.

Put your qualities to work

Do you realize that you have your own amazing and unique skill set of qualities?

Why not use them to shift your day? Today my customers clearly needed some extra patience, empathy and friendly help.
I know that all of those I am able to do and I can make somebody's day better.
Well hopefully, because it is entirely upto them if their day goes uphill from there.
But I know that I tried my best to do my part.

Keep a victory log

We simply do not give ourselves enough credit, do we?
Day in, day out we just try our very best to be good people.
Why not challenge yourself to write down as many victories as you possibly could?
Your victories might be different to mine. But I like to take my whole life on board and just write down what I'm proud of really.
For today mine are: 

-I became aware of my voice, and changed my day.
-I had a healthy lunch salad.
-I did a kind thing for a coworker. Well, maybe a couple of kind things

-I made it my intention to do my conversations with care and effeciency, and it worked! 
-I am writing this blog and being so much more consistent.
-I stuck to my coffee limit. (oh yes, it is a challenge!)

Count your blessings

At the end of the day I like to think about the things I feel grateful for. I do this before going to bed. I think about things that went well that day, compliments I received, and I can feel a deep amount of gratitude for the things I have. Even the things that many of us would count as most basic. I have a roof over my head, I get to take a warm shower, we have food in the house.

So there you go!
A how to shift your mind to focusing on the good stuff guide for you.

What do you find that helps getting you into a positive mind set?

Love and blessings,

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Prepping your lunchsalades

If like me, you are a busy bee you might want to consider prepping your lunchsalades before the your work week starts. It ensures me that I eat healthy and nutricious foods. And in the morning I don't have to worry about what to eat which saves me time and stress so I can just get around to my morning routine.
I usually make sure that I have enough for 2 or even 3 days. Then in the middle of the week I prep my additional lunch salades in the evening for the next few days.
And because I like variety in my food I make different kinds of salades so that I have something to look forward to each and every day.

What you need before prepping your lunch salades:

Getting inspired

We have so many unloved cookbooks in our bookcase so I went ahead and took some time to select 5 salades for the week ahead that I would like to try. I made a list for these. I also take the supermarkets special offers into mind when I select my salades. Because it is nice not to overspend.
I wrote on this list:

  • Which salad
  • The book
  • The page
  • A list of ingredients 

Of course the internet is also a great source for inspiration.
And if you have a good idea of which ingredients combine well together you may even come up with your own creative ideas to try.

Basic ingredients

When you go shopping it's good to have a list of some basic ingredients that you will use in your salades. For your dressings I suggest to have the following in the cupboard:

  • A good quality olive oil (it really makes so much difference) 
  • White wine vinegar 
  • Red wine vinegar 
  • Balsamic vinegar  
  • Lemon juice 
  • Honey 
  • Ground black pepper  
  • Seasalt 
  • Italian style herbs (oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary) 
  • Garden style herbs (chives, parsley)
  • Low-fat greek or thick yoghurt.  
I also usually have a few things in my fridge and cupboard such as different types of salad leaves, cucumber, garlic, red onion, white onion, tomato, dried wholeweat pasta, rice and couscous
  Make a list and shop

Simply include your ingredients for the salades on a shopping list. This will ensure that you do not forget anything important. I've been there. That I was missing a key ingredient that would have made my salad much tastier. Trust me, I was bummed out.
So, don't you forget that list! 

Getting chopping and putting your salades together

I like to take all the veggies and chop them according to my wishes or the recipe's instructions before I put my salades together. A little mise en place makes it much more organized. If there is any wet veggies that will make the whole salad a watery mess I keep those seperate in a little box so I can add them last. Right before I eat it.

The same counts for the dressing. You don't want any soggy business to ruin your beautiful salad. I suggest you keep your dressing apart and drizzle it in when you are about to eat your salad.

Prepping your lunchsalades is a really rewarding thing to do.
If you don't already do this, I can really advice it.
A guaranteed healthy lunch and such a time-saver!

If you have any additional tips and tricks I may not have mentioned, I would love to hear them from you.

Love and blessings,


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Things I learned from having my jobs

I have had many jobs over the course of my life.
The longest I've stayed loyal to one company is almost ten years.
That's if you don't count in my volunteerswork which I have been doing for 13 years.
I learned many things from having my jobs. Some were fun, and some were painful. It's been quite a journey. One thing is for sure. I have never been bored.

Getting your first pay check is a marvelous feeling!

I remember getting my first pay check from my actual first job. It was the best feeling in the world that I had made my own money and could now spend it freely on what I wanted. Of course back then I was 19 and still living at my parent's. Adulting reality is there are also bills to be paid. But still, every job I get I do get that simular feeling I had the first time I ever held my first paycheck.

Turning the sour into the sweet


Being a student I have had some seriously crappy and embarassing jobs. But still, they make you money. I made it into my own art that I would turn a sour job sweet by finding a playful way to do it. In a warehouse I would play tetris with boxes, dance around to music, and find the humor in all the different people working there. 
Upon playing a mascotte for a snackbar I would tempt people to come  on by making jokes with them. I would always find a way not to hate it as much as some people probably would.

Just keep shining 

I have had so many people trying to put me down. I've had somebody tell me I was way too much of a leader on the group of kids I had back then. My coworker suggested I should step into the role of supporter because it was going to be her group of kids.
She would shoot down every creative idea I had.
I was young and foolish to actually step into her shadow. When I left that place and got back to working with supportive coworkers I actually regretted listening to her like that. I should have just stepped into the managers office and told her about the weird comment being made instead of losing my shine. There's a special way in which I did things and which made children respond so positively to me. When I look back, I realize there was a lot of jealousy in the game.


Not everybody is going to like you  

And guess what? That's okay! As long as it's not affecting anybody's professional attitude. You still need to get along to the degree you can work together. My advice would be if you hit a bump like that is to give honest feedback. When that isn't answered to, make sure you seek out some help.

Trust in your abilities

Please do! There's a reason you've been hired. Because you got the qualities that they looked for in the first place. Do not allow anything to make you feel insecure and knock you down.

Take constructive feedback and grow.

You recognize good feedback because it is constructive. It is supposed to help you. It's messages that relate to actions and behaviour. They are never about WHO YOU ARE.
And if they are, you know it's personal. At one point I had somebody tell me once that I wasn't as fresh and colorful anymore. I realized that this was related to my personality and not my work. And just so you know I will never stop being fresh and colorful. So that is just unfair. In this case, confront people through an I message. "I heard you say that... and that makes me feel... I'd like it if you can give me constructive feedback so I can improve my actions...'

Know when you need to quit

Sometimes it just doesn't work out at a company. It could be that the company is sending out contradicting messages that hurts your own intregity.
Or that you are just stuck in a same position forever without ever getting more opportunity to grow. It could be manager that just doesn't know how to lead the team and therefor the atmosphere is horrible.
Trust me, that there's always another job for you out there. Do not stick around in fear.


You cannot possibly do everything they want of you. Some companies seem to think their employees are superheros that can meet unrealistic standards. Take part in anonymous survey's about the work place if you can so they can be given the chance to improve. And you don't need to be the one all the time taking up all the work. There's other people working there too. If you they push impossible standards on you, see my previous lesson learned. You don't want a burn out. Trust me.

Never tolerate work bullies

I mean ever. It's just not okay. Ive been there. Seek out help immediately!

Have a vision


It is perfectly ok to have standards for a job you want to do. When I lost mine last January, I started reflecting on what I wanted. How many hours, how much money, the atmosphere, the tasks, the type of manager. I threw it out into the universe and hunted it down. I am very pleased with the job I have in this moment.

If you look at your past jobs, what are the things that you learned?

Love and blessings,


Monday, April 16, 2018

For those in need a loving uplift

Dear you,

You are reading this today. because I am here to remind you that you are so beautiful!

You have been way too harsh on yourself lately.
Have you maybe even looked in the mirror and been disapproving of yourself and the body you have? Stop! Change that voice and be kind. Your body is your instrument that will take you anywhere in this life. Isn't that a magical thing? I wish you'd stop being so critical and realize your own personal beauty. There's nobody quite like you. You have brought a voice, personality and skills to this world that nobody owns like you do. Stop comparing yourself to those you think may have it better. For they have their own struggles as well. Even if you don't see them.

When was the last time that you really received a loving gesture? Maybe somebody around you has tried to compliment you recently and you shook it off because it made you feel uncomfortable.
You didn't even allow it to enter your heart. Maybe you mumbled a thank you hoping that the attention would be taken away from you.
I am here to tell you that you are deserving of that compliment.
Just start to think about your journey so far. 

You've been probably put through so much. You've been brave and faced your fears. You've survived through pain.  You've used obstacles as stepping stones to arrive here. I would like to take this opportunity to give you a hug.
To let you know that I have such compassion for you. I wish I could take your past hurt and throw it in a big bin.
I at least hope for you that your past hurt doesn't affect your present moment too much.
That you realize that you have learned valuable lessons in your life that aid you right now. And if you are struggling right now, I'd like to let you know that this too will pass. It may not be easy right now, but things do not stay like this forever. You have the inner strenght to make it through. Remember all that you have achieved so far.
Your small successes, your big wins. You are capeable of so much more than you think.
You can do the things you dream of. Nobody has proven you wrong and do not listen to those who shoot your dreams out of the sky.
See how that long term goal, divided into one single small step each day can bring you just where you need to be. You'd be amazed!
I'd like you to know that while change can be challenging, it can take you to the next level. One day you'll look back and all of a sudden feel like you are different from a while ago. You feel stronger and you don't even know how you conquered something. It's the funniest feeling. We are learning all the time as long as we are open to it.

And finally, if a friend disappears from your life it could be that it's for the best.
Sometimes you just outgrow each other, or the lesson has been learned. Even if you don't know exactly what that lesson is. Never part with a hateful heart, but thank that person for being your teacher. They may have taught you to forgive by doing you wrong. They may have taught you to stand up for yourself by testing your boundaries. Those are wonderful things to learn!

All my love to all of you who felt that you had to read this.
I hope you can enjoy your beautiful life!


Saturday, April 14, 2018

A guide to embracing your emotions

Let's talk about emotions.
They are a part of us all the time. Anger, sadness, joy, love, fear and all the subemotions that we also feel and usually can be placed under one of the bigger ones like frustration, jealousy, gratitude and bliss
Emotions are much like a rollercoaster. Reaching highs, lows, taking spins, twists and turns.
We may not always be comfortable feeling them, but it is a big part of your human experience.
So, what do we tend to do when we feel something that we rather not? We open up that big box, push those emotions in and lock it with a key. We say:  "I don't want to deal with you."And what happens when you keep doing that? One day when you open the box that happens to be full and you try to put it in all these emotions just come bursting out, because there is no more space.

And we find another person being in complete and utter surprise because you just massively freaked out about someone not picking up the towels from the floor.

Let's look at emotions like an indication that you are triggered by an outside experience. Something happens --> you think something about it --> you feel a certain way. 

Let's say that you were trying to make coversation with a coworker who replies to you with a snappy comment. You may think: 'Wow she really doesn't like me' which will probably bring up a negative emotion.
Whatever that emotion is dependent on your frame of reference.
Let's say you were sad and it made you think of a past workplace where you bullied.
You really don't want to feel like that, so box goes open, emotion goes in and it's locked in with the key. 


You feel that emotion. Realize that it is coming from a place where you previously experienced pain and give yourself a hug.
It's good to deal with your emotions in the moment the best you can to prevent a big burst out like the one I described.

Sometimes it is not always possible though. An emotional reaction in a professional space can be tricky. 

I am a very emotional person, so when I react from emotion I do it big. When I'm sad, I cry. When I'm angry, I'm very angry. -Trust me: it's not pretty-
I use the box, but not to stuff it.

Here's how to use the box differently.
Realize that this is a feeling you have. Pause it.
Open box, put in the emotion, close it but don't lock it.
When in a safe space: open the box, take out that emotion, feel it and embrace it.

It's how I prevent a big freak out over 'nothing'
I have also found that my head is much more clear when I deal with my emotions as they come and go.
There's more space is the way that I would describe it.

What are your ideas about embracing emotions?
I would love to hear about them.


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

How to squeeze in exercise on a full schedule

We all know how important exercise is.
It is recommended to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day.
And yet, we often find the same excuse: I just don't have time.
Here are ways of creative exercising that I've found on my 100 days of daily exercise.

1. Dance your way through the day 

I am lucky that I have this brilliant tv that has youtube on it. On youtube there are great videos from Refit dance fitness and Shine dance fitness. I will do a few of these videos and dance along to the telly.
If you don't have tv, easy:  Just turn up that music on your phone and dance to your favourite songs. Maybe even when you are cleaning. Exercise bonus!
And it is incredible for a good mood too.

2. Take a walk on your lunch break

If you are in an office job like me, you know you are going to have to make a bit more effort to squeeze in those 30 minutes. So, why not take a walk when you are eating your healthy packed lunch? Maybe you can even nudge some coworkers to join you for company.

3. Clean 

I don't know how about you, but cleaning is not one of my favourites. Though it needs to happen anyway. And maybe you feel better when you know that cleaning is actually a pretty good way to exercise. Think about it: for a througout clean you get to use your whole body. So vacuum, scrub, wash and know that you are not only doing something nice for your house, but also for your body.

4. A quick work out to start or end your day

There's plenty of great apps that will provide you with programs that you can do in 10 minutes. Really, don't tell me you don't have 10 minutes to spare to start out your day or even end your day with. These are usually high intensity work outs that focus on your stamina. Jumping jacks baby!

5. Bike

This is a very dutch thing and may not be everyone's cookie, but how about you bike to your destination? This is also another great way to ensure that you get your exercise in. It helped my man to actually lose a couple of pounds. And it's practical to the point where you actually have a way of transportation.

Do you have great ways to squeeze in your exercise that I missed mentioning?
Let me know below!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

How to recognize a toxic friend

Trust me when I tell you I've had my fair share of toxic friends.
And we must have them at one point to learn how to recognize them and avoid comitting to these friendships in the future. 

When I was 11 years old I remember making friends with a girl in horsebackriding class. She was very nice in the class, but the first time I made it to her home and we were by ourselves she turned into a very bossy young lady.
And that playmate I had in primary school kept dumping me right after my birthday party, to come back only 2 months before my coming birthday.

While these were innocent first introductions to a 'toxic friend' and may not come close to adult life, I've had more serious situations than this one, like getting away from a narcissistic personality who's out to ruin your life if you upset them.  

First they lure you in with their charasmatic personality and then one day they change overnight.

Here's how to recognize a toxic friend

Only on their time schedule

They can only make time for you when it's convenient to them. They don't really care if it's a good time for you.
And mostly they stress how important it is for them that you show up right away. They put pressure on you and give off that vibe like: if you don't show up right now, you are not my friend. Often done subtly though, trying to play on your guilt. 

The endless drama

They  make a big deal out of everything and their life a never ending soap opera of turbulent events.
You know what I mean?
The partner just dumped them, turned out the ex was a serial cheater with OMG their other gal pal. Work is a disaster because a coworker stole their project idea. How dare they! They are trying to drop more weight, but it just don't work because with the busy life there is no time to cook healthy meals and the gym is a place where they don't feel good because the instructor is always checking them out.
The stories of their drama have no limit and no end. 

Sometimes you even start to wonder what is true. 

They bring you down

When you showed up to oblige their needs as the time ticks away you feel drained and tired by then end of the night. It's like they are vampires and sucked away all of your life energy. They are deeply negative.
Or quite the opposite. 

They are charismatic and upbeat and make snarky comments with a smile on their face. "Awww, don't you look cute? It is a beautiful dress. If you drop a few pounds I am sure it would look even better. But very cute it is!"

The incidental reward system

One of the reasons we stay in this relationship is because they have limited time periods where they act like they are your best pal. You are their world, moon, sun and stars.
They give you gifts and make you feel like you are important in their world. 

The incidental reward will make you feel like maybe you were too harsh with your thoughts and they appreciate you after all. But it is a vicious trap to us staying in something where we don't belong. 

They gossip... a LOT

If you find anyone that is always sticking their nose into other people's lives, and talking about others: best believe they will do that about you. How people treat others is a pretty good indication of how they will treat you.
Beware the gossipers.
And do not tell them personal stuff about yourself.


They make it clear from the start: Mess with me, and you will deeply regret it...

They will say this or something along those lines.
When they do say this, do me a favor and trust them on their word.
We are talking about someone who will actively ruin your life once your friendship is over.
They will make you look bad, try to break up your relationship, or try to turn people on you. 

Trust me, I've seen it happen so many times.

As I come to the end of this blog, I will give you one final tip if you've gone into deep with a toxic friend.
Play your cards smart. Feel the situation and anticipate on it for your own emotional safety. Don't drop them like a ton of brick, but make yourself unavailable as time passes and don't share your personal things with them.

Have you had experience with toxic friends?
Feel free to drop me a line about what you did.



Monday, April 2, 2018

4 smoothies I love

I have recently invested in a fantastic blender!
Before I would always use cheap ones and it left my smoothies smelling like i burned something.
It's the Philips HR2098/30 blender.
Not only does it make smoothies, it can also cook soups, sauces, and crush ice.
It's my amazing new kitchen companion.

I wanted to share my inspiration for smoothies I've tried so far and that I think you will love as the warmer days come around.

 1. Banana & Strawberry

A very simple and delicious one.
Here's what you will need.

1 ml of apple juice
A couple of fresh or frozen strawberries
A banana
Low fat yoghurt

2. Mango dream

Let's get that sunny vibe going!
You will love this one

150 ml of orange juice
A mango
A handful pineapple

Coconut flakes for garnish

3. Forest fruit smoothie
I love forest fruits and they have so much goodness to them!

Handful of strawberries
A few raspberries
Some red berries

100/200 ml water
A teaspoon of sweetener of choice (sugar, honey etc.)

4. Fantasy smoothie 

Here's my fantasy smoothie

100 ml of orange juice
A kiwi
A handful of grapes
A banana
Low fat yoghurt

A tablespoon of oats
A teaspoon of honey

Give me some love if you liked these smoothies.
Happy blending!

Why comparing yourself to others makes you unhappy

Recently I braved my way through public speaking.
I was given the challenge to do a talk about acceptance.
With my talk I took people on a journey through my past. My childhood and the young-adult version of myself.
What I mainly found intertwined with the theme acceptance were the subthemes: your own critic and comparing yourself to others as obstacels to not come to terms with self-acceptance.
Today I will blog about comparing yourself to others.

We start comparing ourselves to others at a very young age. When you start your schoolcareer, you are at one point faced with being measured in results. Some countries rate their students in percentages from 0 - 100%.
Some grade from 1-10, and there's many more variation to let the child know how it's doing it's work. The young child will compare it's own results to other's.
There is also social confrontation.
You will learn how you are doing in a group. You will find out whether you are populair or not by the amount of invites you get for playdates or birthday parties.

Nowadays Social Media offers us all these options to share our story and voice.
But guess what? It's a shark's tank for comparison and critics.
You may think- 'how come this person has: all these followers, friends, has been on a worldtravel, graduated with a perfect grade, married the love of their lives, make a lot of money, cook beautiful food.. darn that is just not me. I'm never going to be as good. Or as loved.'Comparison can provoke some very nasty thoughts. It can makes us wanna give up because we're not quite there where we want to be.
It can create a downwards spiral in negativity and feeling stuck. We forget to be grateful for all the great stuff that actually is in our life.

A study has shown that people who spend longer than 2 hours on Social Media daily can end up feeling more alone, isolated, and even depressed because we compare!

The other day I had a long and hard talk with a friend about it. I found that she was comparing herself to her other friends. I told her; 'When you do this, you actually say: I'm not worth it. You are not kind to yourself because you keep telling yourself things are wrong with you and your life.'
Of course it is okay to also want what others have for yourself, but go about it in a different way. Instead of comparing yourself, let people inspire you.
I am very pleased to learn that I picked up a thing or two from a very dear friend who is real go-getter.
I started to ask myself how to make the changes I want for my life. I have started to take control over my daily diet first. Instead of loading up on take aways, I started to do food planning for every day and made delicious and healthy meals. When I settled that I took on time to study. And everybody knows by now I don't make Friday night plans before 20.00, because my Zumba class is at 18.00.
I have succesfully been building new habits and I getting a bigger sense of pride for my efforts and because of my new life style I gain so much more energy.

So, be inspired and stop comparing!
If you have any thoughts or tips you want to share, please leave them in the comments below.