dinsdag 24 december 2013

A very merry christmas, here's a christmas gift for you!

Merry Tuesday!

Oh no :( I started writing this post on my iPad and accidentally deleted everything half way through...

Still, I wanted to wish you a very merry christmas now, since tomorrow you'll all be having a wonderful day with your families!

Traditions vary from country to country and from family to family. In my family we really enjoy our breakfasts, we set up our christmas tree right after Sinterklaas has left the country on the 6th of December, we like to go to the church at christmas eve to listen to the beautiful music and we love to bake. A lot. Our kitchen was filled with the best smells today, my mom made a berry cheesecake and a zucchini layer cake with cream-cheese frosting (i helped here and there), and I made mince pies.

Now mince pies are not really a Dutch tradition, I guess it is British. But as you know I am a bit of a youtube addict and I have been watching Sorted Food, Zoella, Tanya Burr and many more give these treats a try so I wanted to follow in their footsteps. As our shops don't sell the filling pre made I had to make everything from scratch. To be honest, the first batch was not great. But that was to be expected  because I'd never tried one. The second batch however was absolutely lovely!

So here my christmas gift to you: 

My mince pies

my mince pie recipe.

500g of dried fruits (apricots, prunes, raisins, cranberries, anything you like!)
75 g dark brown sugar
60 ml red port
Juice and zest of one orange
Juice and zest of half a lemon
1/2 tsp of ground cloves
1 tsp of cinamon
60 ml of brandy
1 tsp of vanilla
2 tbs of honey

350 g of flour
225 g of cold and diced butter
100 g of sugar
1 egg
The zest of one orange
 A pinch of cinnamon

Mini-quiche or muffin tins

Now for the filling, I chopped up all of my dried fruit first while I heated up the port with the sugar and the spices, then I put all of the fruit in the warm mixture and I added the juice of both the orange and the lemon plus the zest. Then I let that simmer away for about 30 minutes, it has to start looking a bit jammy (if not, don't worry, there is always the blender!). At this point I added the brandy, the vanilla and the honey and I gave it a nice stir, the I let it cool. You really want a soft and mushy texture with not too many large pieces.

Pre-heat the oven at 220C.

For the pastry it is most important to have things COLD (oh baby it's cooooold outside!). Put the diced butter in the flour and use your fingertips to combine both and create a sandy texture. Then I turned the mixture from the bowl onto a flowered surface, I added the zest, sugar, cinnamon, and the egg and a mixed everything together. Try to do this as quick as you can and try not to overmix the mixture. When it has formed a ball, split it into two smaller balls, cover them in clingfilm and pop them in the freezer for 20 minutes. 

Roll out one of the dough-balls and cut circles that will fit your muffin tins. When you have finished doing that, pop the whole tin in the freezer! It will help make the dough nice and crispy. After 10 minutes take them out and fill them with the jammy mixture. Before you do, make sure you taste it to see whether you like it. You might want to add a bit more lemon juice to cut through the sweetness of the dried fruit, or add a bit more brandy to get everyone a bit more cozy and cheery ;). Then from the rest of that dough-ball cut smaller circles to cover the top and use a little star-shape to cut out a little whole in the lid. (From half of the dough I got 12 pie-cases plus lids and I kept the other half in the freezer for later use.) Cover the pies, use a fork to stick the bottom and the top together on the edges, brush the top with some egg or some milk and sprinkle over some sugar. Put them in a pre-heated oven at 220C for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle them with some icing sugar and ta-daaaaa!!! Some really tasty treats for you to enjoy while watching a christmassy movie!

Please let me know if you gave them a try, and if you have had real mince pies before, let me know if my recipe lives up to the original! 

Have a very merry christmas, I hope you're all surrounded by lots of friends and family members and that you don't have to worry about a single thing.

Lots of love,
Floor

Me and Joost

vrijdag 20 december 2013

Locked up!

There I was, locked up in a small room in a building full of other people... Nowhere to go, only one thing to do. We all knew this day was going to come, but who could have guessed it would still come as such a surprise?

I had exam week.

I had a retake of an exam last week which was very difficult and stressful for me, last friday I had to hand in a group paper, monday I had a take home exam and them I still had to write a second opinion, do an interview and analyse a whole argument, I thought it would never end. It was tiramisu for every meal over and over again.

Pffffsh i wish i had tiramisu, no deserts for me this week. I did have some really tasty things to eat this week though! The boyfriend has a thing for 'deals' and ordered something like a birchbox for food. I've always wanted to try a birchbox but they're soooo expensive and I'm not sure whether they deliver in the Netherlands, has anyone ever tried getting a birchbox delivered to the Netherlands? Well, the food one is called 'foodwelove', he ordered it from a Dutch site called www.foodwelove.nl. He got a whole box full of exclusive food items; some awesome christmas pancetta, a variation of dried porcini, some great olive oil and a lot more! We made an awesome risotto with pancetta and mushrooms on top, it was delicious!

Mushroom risotto with pancetta bits
 It looks a bit random on my plate but the flavor combinations where aweeeeesome! Trust me!

Then yesterday when I suddenly managed to finish a ton of assignments the food-extravaganza began haha. A pre-christmas dinner yesterday, which to be honest was at a pretty cheap restaurant and I had a stomach ache the rest of the evening. But today I had the beeeeest yoghurt ever, and later an oliebol <3. Thats like a donut in a ball shape, we typically eat it at new years eve and its soooo good!

Yummy yoghurt with berries and almonds
Big bite from my 'Oliebol' :D

And thats it for this week to be honest, I have one assignment left to finish, I'm on my way to my parents place and I'm worn out! It's time to be set free, time for christmas!

Hope you're doing well and that you survived your exam-week if you had one! Let me know what your favorite celebratory food is!

XOXO Floor



donderdag 12 december 2013

What I did this evening.

So imagine your favorite food is tiramisu.

You could eat it whenever you want to, but usually you only have it as a desert, and not even every day (because come on, no one could remain looking great if they ate tiramisu every day...)

Then one day someone comes along and they tell you that from now on the only thing you can do all day, every day is eating tiramisu.

You would enjoy it for approximately... 3 days maybe? And then you start longing for some fruit, maybe just any type of dinner.

My tiramisu in this example is writing. I like to write, but I like to do other things as well. But then came my master-degree and it told me 'you have to write all day, every day from now on'. *le sigh*.

What I'm trying to say is: I'm sorry. I've had lots of things to talk about, but there were other things that I had to be writing about. Every time I thought I wanted to write a blogpost the little angel on my shoulder told me 'if you're planning to write anyway, why not work on an assignment?'. So that is what I did for two weeks long.

Now my to-do list is coming to an end, very slowly, but still, the end is in sight. I've got one more paper and one more take home exam to go and then my Christmas holiday can start!

The last couple of days however I've realized that I really should be doing things that I enjoy to do as well, that is why I baked some cupcakes yesterday (only five and I'm limiting myself to one a day... I still want to fit in that christmas dress), and look at what naughty me did tonight:

My first home-made bread
Doesn't it look pretty? The kitchen smelled so wonderful when I was proofing the dough, and even better when I was baking it. The only reason I was baking it was because I only had one slice of bread left over for lunch tomorrow and I need to focus on (guess what) writing tomorrow so I don't have time to go to the supermarket. 

I used the simplest recipe ever! It's from the Jamie Oliver website.... again...:

Recipe for the easiest home-made bread

250g flour
7g of dried yeast
207 ml of tepid water
2/3 tbs of suger
1/3 tbs of salt (preferably sea-salt)

I mixed all of the dry ingredients in a bowl with half of the tepid water, when it starts to come together and you feel it getting dry you add the other half of the water. When all of the ingredients stick together you put everything on a clean surface and you start kneading. You do that for about 5 minutes or until you have a nice and flexible dough. 

You then put the dough in a clean bowl, you cover it with cling-film and you put it in a warm place to proof for 30 minutes. After that is done you punch back the air in the bread for a couple of seconds and then you can shape and flavor the dough in any way you want. I just wanted a simple bread so I didn't add anything, but you could add raisins or cut down olives by kneading it into the dough. After you've add all of the extras and you've shaped it you put it on a flat surface with some flour, you cover it with cling-film again and you let it proof for another 30 to 60 minutes. 

Now you have to be extra careful not to knock all of the air out, put some egg mixed with milk over the top (carefully!) to give it a nice brown shiny top and put it on a preheated oven of 180 degrees Celsius for 25 to 30 minutes. 

Tada! Your own home made bread!

You really should give it a try, it's so satisfying to knead the dough and it's not difficult at all! Hmmm yum I can't wait to eat it tomorrow! 

So I hope you've been well, I'll try to write a bit more fun stuff from now on, maybe it'll give me some inspiration for writing the more serious stuff :). 

Thank you for reading and let me know what your favorite food is and for how many days in row that could be the only thing you'd eat! 

lots of love,
Floor



dinsdag 19 november 2013

Sweater Weather Tag

Oh no... It has been almost an entire week since I posted a blog, and I don't even have any interesting excuses to give you about why I haven't written because... nothing happened haha.

It's officially autumn, everything is grey, it's cold, I recovered from my first serious cold this season. Really, there is nothing else to mention. I did redecorate my room, it's not a very large room so it's always a challenge to mix things up, but I think I've managed to make it look completely different. Even though you don't know how it looked before, I've added some pictures to give you a glimpse :).

My desk and my couch/bed

And now for the real topic of this post: I've seen so many tags passing along on youtube channels and one of them has inspired me. I don't like hearing myself talk so that is why I haven't started vlogging or making youtube videos, but I thought, why can't I join in on this tag craze? I love the topic and all of those videos look so cute! My post is inspired on the tag Ingrid from missglamorazzi did because I loved they way she changed it, so here you go: the sweater weather tag especially for you:

My favorite candle scent?: 
I don't burn a lot of scented candles, I often find them too overpowering but there is one that I have been loving for almost a year now: it's the spring garden candle by rituals. It gives off a really warm and still fresh smelling Vetiver and Clary Sage scent. I've got it on my bedside table and every time I have a little quiet moment I like to burn it.

My favorite candle, with a nice saying on the glass

The candle on my cute bedside table

Coffee, Tea or Hot Chocolate?:
I like all three haha, but lately I've been drinking more tea than coffee with an occasional hot chocolate. I've been trying to cut back on my sugar and I can't bear to drink my coffee without sugar, but I do have a lot of tea-flavors that do very well without sugar. Currently I'm loving my Rooibos Cranberry loose tea, rooibos is very good for you and it is quite an interesting combination with the cranberry because I sometimes feel like it tastes a bit 'chocolaty' if you know what I mean... I love love love hot chocolate too but that is really a treat. My favorite hot chocolate comes in a carton from a Dutch brand, I think every country has their own hot chocolate brand, I also love the Danish chocolate milk 'Matilde' I think it's called, it's similar to the Dutch version. Very creamy, very chocolaty, very rich, too good to have it every day :P.

What is the best fall memory you have?
My birthday is in fall so obviously I have a lot of nice birthday memories that enter my mind every time I think of fall. When I was younger my family used to go to a family-house in the Ardennes in Belgium in september around my grandmothers birthday and I remember the old cold house and playing in the garden and going for walks in the woods and the smell of wood-fires. I've had a lot of fun times with my cousins there, so I guess that and my large collection of birthday-memories are my favorite fall memories.

Dark lips or winged eyeliner?
Winged eyeliner, for sure. It's something I do almost daily because I'm a huge liner-addict haha. I never wear dark lips actually and I have real problems discovering lipsticks that I really like... I always look almost 'over-done' when I wear it... Any tips?

Best fragrance for fall?
I have a problem choosing now, I have an all time favorite scent and one that I got recently and that I love as much as the first one, but the first one is more suited for fall and the other is more of an 'every day' kind of scent... My all time favorite scent is 'Love, Chloe', love the scent, love the bottle, love love love. The powdery scent is what I like about it so much, but I think that is what makes it better suited for colder times... it's a bit warmer and a bit more 'old fashioned' almost (in a good way). My newest scent is 'XX Hugo' by Hugo Boss. It's a lot lighter and fresher and not as heavy as Love, Chloe. Scents can really overwhelm me, that is why I don't wear the heavier Chloe scent every day.

My two favorite scents

What is autumn weather like where you live?
It's cold and it's rainy. We do get a glimpse of sunshine every now or then, but I think the Netherlands is known for its rain, with reason. It's okay though, in winter it gets better ;).

The occasional nice morning

Favorite thanksgiving food?
In the Netherlands we obviously don't celebrate thanksgiving, but we do celebrate Sinterklaas and Sinterklaas comes with it's own food and candy traditions. Sinterklaas is the Dutch way of saying 'Saint Nicholas', it is a saint of the children who according to Dutch legends lives in Spain and takes his boat the Netherlands every year for his 'birthday' on the 6th of december when he treats all the kids to presents and candy. Now I've given you the most basic introduction to Sinterklaas (I left a lot of crucial elements out to stay clear of any discussions), I can talk about the candy and cookies. The Sinterklaas candy is very sugar and marzipan heavy, I usually don't eat the candy. The cookies however, don't get me started about that! Sinterklaas and his helpers give out tiny little cookies called 'pepernoten' (spiced cookies with cinamon, clove and all those things). The plain ones are awesome but you can also get them covered in chocolate, covered in cappuccino flavor, chocolate truffle flavor... As you can imagine, I love them all. Click this link to find some more explanations about pepernoten and how to make them!

Most worn sweater?
My favorite sweater is a black/grey one with shimmery details. It's really warm and cozy and I usually just wear it with jeggings or black pants, but it has a zipper off center so it can look a bit more structured as well that is why I think it also looks really cool on a cute and girly dress! I have the biggest trouble finding sweaters I like, I always have the feeling they make me look so square... that's why I usually go for a button down or in this case a zip-down :).

Must have nail-polish this fall?
I actually did a post about nail-polish last week and I'm still in love with that look, it's a fuchsia-red-pink base with red/pink glitter on the top. It looks quite classic with already a little hit of festivity, I feel like it sparks up any outfit haha.

My current favorite nailpolish

Football games or jumping in a pile of leaves?
I'm not really a football/soccer fan (American football is really not very popular here in the Netherlands) but I do like to make the most out of fall weather. I love going out for a walk and when I'm at my parents place and we go walking in the woods there are more than enough leave-piles to jump in. So jumping in a pile of leaves anyday!

Skinny jeans or leggings?
Can I say both? I've got my favorite pair of Jeggings which is both a skinny jeans and a pair of leggings... It's black with a grey floral print, I hardly ever wear something with such a heavy print on my pants or skirts alone, but this one is just perfect, I would wear it every day if my boyfriend wouldn't get sick of it haha.

Combat boots or Uggs?
I'd say combat boots, I don't own a pair, and I do own a pair of Uggs, but I don't wear my Uggs anymore and I prefer the look of a nice pair of boots. However combat boots might be a bit too heavy for me... I really like ankle-booties, those are what I wear day to day. And with skirts I prefer higher suede boots, you can't go wrong with those.

Is pumpkin spice really worth the hype?
Eh what? Is the tag referring to the starbucks coffee? I think I've had it once this autumn (a skinny pumpkin spiced latte) and it is way too sweet for me, so no. I do like a bit of cinnamon on top of my cappuccino though, yummm. Or cinnamon in my hot chocolate <3

Favorite fall TV show?
Actually I haven't been watching any new series or TV shows, I've started watching the Gossip Girl seasons again on Netflix... Someone give me tip on what I should be watching instead? I'm not a big one for a lot of drama, either it has to be intriguing or funny for me to catch my attention.

What song really gets you in the fall spirit?
A really old one: 'The Mamas and the Papas - California Dreamin', ahhh I love that song!
Some more recent artists: I love Bastille, still. The new John Mayer album is pretty great too and when I need something more upbeat I put on the new Avicii album, I swear, every track on that album is a #1!


Soooo, I really hope you liked this post, please let me know if you enjoyed it, if I should do more of these tags and if you have any tips or trics for me leave a comment for me down in the comments box :). 

Lots of love,
Floor







woensdag 13 november 2013

Beautiful Wednesdays: current beauty favorite

Hey guys, I hope you're having a beautiful wednesday!

It is a wonderful autumn day here in Utrecht, the sun is shining, it is not too windy and the sunlight makes all the yellow leaves on the trees look golden.

I decided to start a little series on my blog called 'Beautiful Wednesdays', you can already read quite a bit about recipes here, but I also enjoy buying and using new (or old) beauty favorites. That is why I've decided to upload a little review of my favorite beauty product every week!

This week it's a nail-polish. I've already confessed my love for the L'Oreal nail-polishes, but my love has only grown bigger since the last time I talked to you about them. As you might have read it was my birthday last sunday and once I'm 'past my birthday' christmas always feels so much closer! Is it too soon? Maybe. Do I care? Not really, because I found the perfect christmassy nail-polish:

The L'Oreal nailpolish #836 Scarlet Tinsel
Oh my, isn't that pretty? It's a nice fuchsia-pink-glitter and the glitters are really small. You need a couple of layers to cover your nail with glitter if you don't use a colored base-coat. I was afraid that would take too long so I painted my nails with Rimmel's 'lycra pro professional finish' in 402 in Urban Purple (which is not a purple but a fuchsia as well) first before I added a layer of the L'Oreal glitter. I've only just bought it so I'm not sure whether it will chip easily or not, but I will let you know next week!

This was really an impulse buy by the way, I travel to Amsterdam a couple of times a week by train to go to university and there is a little drugstore in the train-station. Every time I have to wait more than 5 minutes before I can board my train I end up going into the drugstore. I was only in for 3 minutes today and I still managed to buy something haha... Ah well, it got me in the Christmas mood!

What about you? Are you looking forward to the holidays, or do you think it's too soon? And what color nail-polish is your favorite at the moment?

love,
Floor

zaterdag 9 november 2013

Birthday entertaining (+recipes)

Happy Saturday everyone!

How's your weekend so far? Mine started yesterday already and I've been having a great time! Tomorrow it's my birthday, so I used the opportunity to throw a little birthday party yesterday evening. I had been working on an assignment until 1 the night before so I tried to sleep in on friday morning, but at 9.30 am I was too excited to start baking and cooking that I got up and started my chores.

I expected around 20 of my friends to come of which two of them would stay for dinner so I wanted to bake two types of cake. I was looking for some crowd-pleasers, at least one of my favorites and I had to take into account that I was baking on a budget. It was a long and hard thought process, but in the end I settled for a banana bread and Jamie Oliver's 'Children's Party Cake'. I've made the banana bread a coupe of weeks before and it was a real crowd pleaser and the Party Cake is one of my favorites, it has a lot of chocolate, fruit and whipped cream, everything you want in a cake ;). You'll find the recipes below!

The party was a huge success, at least that is what I thought. Everyone loved the cakes, I got many awesome and very thoughtful gifts, we danced a little, laughed a lot and at 2 am I was in my bed. Exhausted but sooo happy because I got to see so many friends!

Wearing my new scarf!

If you ever find yourself in need of a good recipe for a cake either one of the two posted below are great options. The banana bread is a lot quicker to make if you're short on time, but the chocolate party cake is a real party favorite!

Jamie Oliver's Chocolate Children's Party Cake

I started with the Chocolate cake because that had to cool down before I could cut it in half, cover it in whipped cream and oranges. In his recipe Jamie tells your to use two separate cake tins but I have a teeny tiny oven and it would take way too long to bake two cakes.

You need: 
200 g butter (at room temperature)
4 tbs of cocoa powder
3 oranges
200 g of sugar (as fine as possible)
3 eggs
1 tsp of baking powder
1/4 tsp of salt
200 g of self-raising powder
200 ml of cream
100 g butter for the icing
100 g of pure chocolate
100 g (or less) icing sugar

Preheat the oven on 180C degrees. 
Cream the butter and the sugar in a bowl, if you've made sure that your butter is soft enough that should be fairly easy to do. Mix the cocoa powder with 4 tbs of hot water and add the mix to your butter/sugar mixture. Add the eggs one by one and add the zest of 2 of your oranges. Mix together the dry ingredients and start adding them to your wet mixture, make sure not to over-mix it but it should be a nice and creamy cake consistence. Now this is very important: try not to eat all of the mixture. I know, it tastes great, but you should have enough left to fill a round cake tin for at least 1/3 of the height. Before you add the mixture to your cake tin grease your cake tin properly and put a piece of baking paper on the bottom. Bake the cake for 40 minutes or until a when you test the center of the cake with a skewer and it comes out clean.

Let your cake cool down for about 40 minutes.
In the meantime you can make a banana bread ;) (That's what I did). 
Whilst cooling down, add the chocolate, butter and sugar in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water. It'll look incredible, but again, try not to eat it all... 

Try to eat not all of the chocolate icing... 
Once it has cooled down, carefully cut your cake in half, whip your cream until you reach stiff peaks, segment the two oranges you used for the zest and add the cream and the segmented oranges to the bottom half of your cake. Press the top half of your cake on top and drizzle it with the chocolate mixture. Let your cake cool down in the fridge for about half an hour and then it is ready to eat! 
The chocolate cake, cut in half
Cover it in cream and segmented orange

The best banana loaf ever!

250 g of flour
2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of salt
100 g of butter
200 g of white muscavado sugar
1 tsp of vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup of creme fraiche (125 ml)
3 bananas, mashed
100 g of pure chocolate, cut into pieces
(optional: some nutes, pistachios or walnuts and some brown sugar)


Here comes the easiest recipe ever: 
Preheat the oven on 180c degrees.
Cream the butter and the white muscavado sugar, add the eggs, the vanilla and the creme fraiche. Mix the dry ingredients and add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients spoonful by spoonful (otherwise you get a flour explosion in your face). Add the mashed bananas and the chocolate and mix. Pour it in your bake-tin that you have lined with baking paper (to understand how to do it look at my picture below, it has proved to be my personal miracle to get out my cakes in one piece). If you'd like you can add the brown sugar and the nuts on top to create a little caramelly-top. Bake your cake for 60 minutes (in the middle of the oven if you have different settings, I don't, as I said, my oven is tiny haha). Let the cake cool down for 20 minutes and remove it from the cake tin!

Banana loaf batter


The cooked banana loaf

All in all it was a great day, I love taking the time to bake and it's even better if I don't have to eat it all myself haha! I hope I've inspired you with these recipes and let me know down below in the comments what your favorite birthday cake is!

Thanks for reading! 
xxxx
Floor





maandag 4 november 2013

ASOS haul and other bits and blips

Happy monday everyone!

I hope you all had a marvelous weekend, I sure did! At the moment I'm on the train, making my way back to my place in Utrecht, it finally stopped raining and I'm enjoying some peace and quiet with a little bit of autumnal sunshine.

Nice little sunny train-ride
My weekend started off really well with the arrival of my ASOS order that I had placed earlier this week. I ordered this pretty, feminine dress and this necklace. The dress fits really nice, if you're thinking about ordering it, you can get away with buying a slightly smaller size than you're used to, the fabric is really stretchy and soft. I usually only wear tops in UK size 6, in dresses I usually need a bigger size (for the hips) but this fits really nice and the skirt is very flowy and has the perfect length. First I quite liked the necklace, its colorful and playful but now I'm starting too doubt, it might be a bit too much for me. As you probably can tell by looking at the dress, especially in autumn i prefer to wear some darker colors, and my style is quite classical... The necklace does not really fit that style... What kind of necklace do you think would look better with a dress like this?


Complete view of the dress
Sweetheart neckline

Necklaces
( Sorry it took so long for me to upload the pictures guys, I wanted to take pictures with my big-girl camera, but in the end I forgot to do so, that is why you are now looking at such crappy pictures haha ;) )

On saturday I went shopping with my friend Anne in Amsterdam, which was soooo much fun because we hadn't seen each other in a while. I didn't buy a lot besides thee pairs of socks and stockings haha. 

Awesome Topshop socks

In the evening I went to see my boyfriend and on sunday I just followed him around until he had to go to work after which I went with his family to a party for his granny. In the evening I got on train to Maastricht because I had to go to the dentist and now I'm on my way back! All in all, a busy weekend! Glad I got you updated in all of my nonsense haha.
So november jas started and what has caught my attention is the overall explosion of movember! The last couple of years it was there, I heard about it, I knew guys who participated but for some reason everyone is obsessed with movember this year! Its on the radio, its on tv, I even spotted Fleurdeforce's husband making a video about participating! I can already hear all of those hipsters mumbling: "but I knew about it way before it became a thing..." haha! 


I hope you enjoyed reading it, leave me a comment telling me how your first november weekend was! 


Love,
Floor


PS, i am in love with these cookies, does anyone have a recipe that will get me close to these? They are so yummy and crumbly and small, so I don't feel bad for taking more than one ;)

Green apple & almond cookies, yum!!


donderdag 31 oktober 2013

Surprise, Surprise!

Cup of tea with a view
So, what do you think?

Do you like my new layout? I'm quite proud of the banner I made, I made it for my last lay out as well but there were some bugs in it and now I managed to fix it completely! I decided to change it up because I was getting bored of the color-scheme, so this time I chose for a design that has my favorite colors in it. I hope you guys like it too and that I didn't scare you away with my new lay-out ;).

Another thing that has changed is that I've now added a 'recipe' button to my navigation bar. Before it was a 'photo' button, but even though I like photographing, I don't take enough pictures to put them on display on a separate part of my blog. Recipes however, that is something I know I will be posting lots of. Food, whether it is a nice dinner or a fabulous pie, has some magical power. A nice plate of food and even preparing food always make me smile, and I'm convinced it works that way for most people. No better reason than that to include it in my blog.

The fact that I've added a new section to my blog called 'recipes' does not mean I will only be posting recipes as there are many things that make smile, but every time I post a recipe it will show up on my home page, and it will be collected under 'recipes' as well.

A part of my collection
As you can see in the picture above I have a nice little collection of cookbooks (actually, this is not all of it, I've got some stored at my parents place as well). I love getting them out and looking through them, but I hardly ever make recipe exactly as Jamie or Julia tells me to do. I am and remain (at least for the next year) a student and I often don't have the budget to cook recipes that have ingredient lists longer than one page... So the type of recipes you will find here are all student-budget-adaptations of some of my favorite recipes (and on top of that, all the recipes that I will post will be in English).

So, are you still there?  I hope I didn't scare you away ;), so let me know what you think of my new lay-out and leave a comment below :).

lots of love,
xoxo Floor

zaterdag 26 oktober 2013

Things I've been loving in October:

Happy saturday!

I hope you're enjoying your free time as much as I am! At the moment I'm seated at my parents' kitchen table, I finished a belgium beer and an apple pie (baking the apple pie... not eating it, and for the record, drinking the belgium beer, nog brewing it). The Netherlands has turned into a multi-colored painting, from a vibrant green to a yellow/red/green/blue sky canvas. It is the best time of year to be near the country side so there was no better occasion to come back to my home town for the weekend.

Apple pie and autumn go together as an umbrella and rain, even though you can buy apples all year round, you get the best quality in autumn and what better way is there to celebrate them than by baking a pie? I will be adding a separate page to my blog where I will post my favorite recipes, so keep an eye out for that!
the best apple pie ever!

Autumn is my favorite season because of various reasons: it starts to become a little bit colder which means I can wear more layers that keep me cozy and warm, it is the season of apple pie, the colors of the leaves turn the whole world into a beautiful painting and it is my birthday! In about 2 weeks I will turn 23 for another year (ha-ha, beer increases my sense of humor exponentially)! The best thing about my birthday is that I will get to see some of my friends that I don't see too often, I'm already looking forward to that.
Lovely autumn colors

My second favorite is a beauty related item. I really like watching beauty youtube videos, especially the ones by Sprinkleofglitter, Zoella, Tanya Burr (Pixi2woo) and fleurdeforce. At least one of them has talked about a dry shampoo by Batiste. I've bought my first dry shampoo over a year ago (still, quite late, I know) from a brand called 'Andrelon' which is a Dutch brand and I HATE IT. It smells horrible, I can't seem to get the white stuff out of my hair and it doesn't make my hair feel fresh AT ALL. Then 2 weeks ago I was walking around one of the two larger Dutch drugstores (Kruidvat), and to my surprise I suddenly saw some little cans of Batiste... you can already guess my reaction. I bought the one with the coconutty-flavor (I didn't take a picture and I didn't bring it with me to my parents...) and I LOVE IT. I don't like washing my hair too often, absolutely not every day, usually every other day but I if I can I wash it every three days. I feel like it goes limp and life-less if I wash it more often. This is where Batiste comes in:

  1. It smells wonderful, not too overpowering, but every time my hair swings around my face I get a nice whiff.  
  2. I can hardly see any white powder.
  3. It makes my hair feel like I just washed it. 
Three great reasons to buy a large can of Batiste if Kruidvat will be so kind to keep stocking it <3.

The last thing I've been loving this month is ASOS. Actually, it's not really this month, I could love ASOS all year long but I'm a bit nervous ordering clothes online. Especially today my love for their website has blossomed again, I went into town to shop for some new clothes but it was one of those days... Everything I tried on was just not right, not the right color, not the right fit, not what I was looking for. And then I went online. I found at least six dresses that came in the fit I love, the colors I love, and they were dresses: just what I was looking for! If I end up ordering one or two I'll put some pictures up, before I do that I'm going to have to make a decision...

Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment if you liked it, I'd love that ;)

xoxo Floor

maandag 21 oktober 2013

Work hard, play hard!

So here I am: monday night, quarter to eight in the evening, in my bed wearing PJ's...What a difference from the last couple of nights!
I've mentioned it before but I am part of a committee that organizes cultural activities for international students in Utrecht (the Netherlands). Twice a year we organize a complete weekend in contrast to the usual day-trips. Last weekend was one of those weekends and we went to my birth-region: a weekend filled with doing dishes, running around, counting people, getting on and off the bus and a serious lack of sleep! None of these things sound particular nice, but we had a lot of fun as well! Some highlights were the dinner organized by a caterer (at least for me... I love good food, especially in enormous amounts) and the visit to a local brewery. We stayed at a large farm transformed into a group accommodation located on the southern-Dutch country side of which you can see a picture below.


But all of this has its consequences, I woke up this morning sooo tired that I slept through my alarm (and believe me, that never happens), my whole body was aching: ears, head, body, everything. That was to be expected, but the sad thing is I have two exams this week... so cross your fingers for me! 

When you're ill you have to eat soup, not only because it's good for you but also because I really couldn't bring myself to cooking anything else. So I made my favorite: zucchini/courgette soup. I hope you are feeling well, but if there ever is a moment when you're not feeling so well I can advise you to make this soup:

Zucchini Soup
for 4 people:
2 zucchini's
2 small onions
2 cloves of garlic
750 ml of water
1,5 stock cube
1 tbs of boursin
a little bit of butter or olive oil
1 tsp of dried parsley
0,5 tsp of dried thyme

Chop the onion and the garlic really fine, when your large pan is hot, add your butter or oil and start to sweat off your onions. When the onions are starting to get soft add the garlic. Chop your zucchini's in small pieces and add them to the pan. Let them cook for about 15 minutes or until all of the zucchini's are nice, soft and a little bit mushy. Add the parsley and the thyme and then add the water and the stock cubes. If I had the time I would make my own stock, but when I'm ill I don't even want to bother, I just want some soup :P. I let the soup bubble away for 15 more minutes and then I wizz it up with a hand-held blender (in Dutch: staafmixer, honestly the word blender is not a good translation google!). Then I add the boursin and I wizz it up once again. 

Pour it into a nice floral bowl or any other bowl that makes you happy, serve with breadsticks or crackers!

Pfff okay... I'm just going to read one more article and then I'm going to sleep. Give the recipe a try and leave me a comment if you'd like seeing some more recipes on my blog! 

Thanks for reading!
byeeee 
xoxo Floor




donderdag 17 oktober 2013

Should do, have to, want to, will.

I feel like I should write something on my blog whenever I want to get my thoughts straight and today is one of those days. I'm not much of a planner, at least I don't like to plan but I do see the benefits of it. The result of never wanting to plan is that all of a sudden there is nothing else to do but to plan.

The next stage in my very logical thinking process (ahem) is to "just figure things out and make a little list in my head, because who needs pen and paper to sort things out". But honestly, that makes things even more chaotic, I wake up panicking in the middle of the night trying to keep an overview of all the things I have to do. What I then have to do is make a list of all the things that need to be done. Suddenly I realize there are only five things on my list...
Real to do lists are always more realistic than the ones in your head
Do you guys recognize the feeling that a to do list is always bigger in your head than in reality... what a realization... I should write that down ;). With having to write down your lists comes having to cross tasks off your list, but finishing your tasks takes a lot less time than thinking about them. Another reason why to make lists!

When you have finally finished all of the tasks on your list it is time to think about what you want to do. Personally I can't wait for this week and the next week to be over, both my head and my to do lists are filled with deadlines, even though some of them are a lot of fun to do. But I haven't cooked a single meal this week, I've been out for dinner every night, even though cooking is my number one way to de-stress. 

I also really wanted to write a blog post, so I guess I  should do that to make me feel better. Maybe adding fun stuff to your to do list is something that you have to do... I know I will ;). 


Some fun things you should do are:
  • watching this video clip: 
  • And if you enjoyed reading this post leave me a comment, because that would make me so happy, and making other people happy can never be a bad thing, right? ;) 


xoxo Floor

maandag 14 oktober 2013

Window-shopping, lots of sleep and a 160th birthday

Ahhh weekend, I'd almost forgotten what that word meant! (Really, I shouldn't be complaining, I know a lot of people who have even less idea of what weekend means than I do...). Still, I've been looking forward to the past weekend for a while and I've enjoyed it from beginning till end. It was the first time in weeks I didn't have to worry about a deadline during the weekend because I was smart enough to finish most of my work during the week and I had a lot of fun things planned to do, so there wasn't even time to worry about deadlines and exams!
My grandparents both turn 80 this autumn so they organized a big party on sunday for all of their family and friends so that is why Joost and I (Joost obviously is my boyfriend :) ) spent the weekend in my hometown Maastricht. It's always good to be home. I still love the city, especially in fall, my mom always cooks up her best dishes when we're home (or at least, that's what it feels like), and there is lots of time to sleep and just hang out. On saturday we had to get a present for my grandparents and while in town we did a little bit of shopping. Since it is not the best time of the month to be shopping I didn't buy anything major but I did find a nice sweater that is definitely going on my wish-list:
Pretty sweater from Maison Scotch
The sweater is a red/orange copper tone with some gold specks in it, it was sooo pretty, and sooo out of my budget! I did get something that is in my budget though, one of the larger drugstores in the Netherlands had a little deal going on for the brand 'Gosh', and I got such a nice little eyeshadow pallete that I thought I'd show you guys. Now beware: I actually used my decent camera to take this photo, but I'm a rubbish photographer haha :P. In the shot you also see my two current favorite nail-polishes. They're by L'Oreal and they're the best nail-polishes I've ever had, they stay put for a whole week without chipping! I'm wearing the grey nail-polish on my fingers now, I've had it on for the whole weekend now and as you can see, they still look picture perfect! 

Gosh Smoky eyes palette in 03 Plum and L'Oreal nail-polishes in 101 and 617

Nail-polish 617 by L'Oreal


(Fun fact, I wanted to take a close up shot from my nails, and I thought it might be useful to use my macro lens to do that, but because I'm such a noob, I didn't realize that I'd have to get at a cm distance from my nails so that I couldn't photograph my whole hand... obviously I didn't use those pictures whahaha!)

My grandparents birthday was a lot of fun, nice wines, good food, great people (and may I add, a LOT of babies, I think there is a little baby-boom going on in my family). Our present made my grandmother cry, but that's not very difficult to do haha. Now it's time to get back to the real world, one paper was finished this morning and now I should start studying for my exams... 
I hope you had a great weekend as well, I'd love it if you would leave me a comment (or maybe a suggestion on where I could find a similar sweater for a smaller price? :D).

Bye xoxox 
Floor



woensdag 9 oktober 2013

How to get your room right for studying?

When it comes to working or studying at home everyone has their own preferences, obviously, but during the last week I changed a couple of things in my room to make it a bit easier to spend the day sitting behind my desk.

Now you have to know the following things:

  1. I am a student 
  2. I live in a student-house with 9 other people
  3. We don't have a real common room besides the kitchen (even though our kitchen is reasonably cosy), 
  4. I don't like to study in a library. 
I've got exams coming up and a lot of other different little jobs to do, so even though I don't have any classes to go to anymore, I have to drag myself out of bed each day, sit behind my desk and start finishing some things. The getting out of bed part is essential because sometimes I'm too lazy to even do that and I'll 'study whilst staying in bed', quite a logical decision because the distance from my bed to my desk is about half a meter, so that's not even worth getting out of bed for. Of course, 'working' from my bed never works. I'll end up watching youtube videos, checking facebook a little bit too often etcetera. I don't like to study in libraries because I like to have my 'things' around me, and if I'd have to bring all of my 'things', the librarian would probably get a bit angry with me. That is why I organized my desk area a bit more, I'll leave all my study and work related things on the desk, everything in their own place and then I'll HAVE to sit behind my desk to work. I'll show you a picture of my desk:

My little desk
Wow... on the picture it looks really cluttered, but really, for me everything I need is on that desk and everything has its own place... First of all you see my MacBook. I love apple, have since I was 14 or so (that's almost 10 years haha!). Most of my work involves writing or reading, so that's why I need my laptop. In front of that (closer to the camera) is my knitting, the fascinating combination of two worlds don't you think?... As I wrote in my previous post, it can get quite addictive at times, but it's a great way to relax as well. In front of my laptop is the book I'm currently reading (about Strategy, Control and Design, not the most exciting stuff) and in the right corner of my desk is my pot of tea and a tea glass. In the left corner of my desk I put up all of my magazines and folders for my job. Before I used to make piles on the table but that would make everything so cluttered... This a lot easier to organize. In front of that a bowl of apples and a mug with some pens. The poster on the wall is from one of my favorite magazines called 'Flow', it is Dutch but they've made an international version recently as well. I can really recommend it, if you want to take a look at their website you can click here. Under the poster my kettle and some photo frames and behind my desk a wooden chair with a nice pillow on top. There are some other little things on my desk such as a notepad, some pieces of paper and a cotton pad (because I did my make up at my desk as well), but that's not really worth getting into. 

What makes this work for me so well is the fact that I have a place to store my files and currently used books and I've always got a pot of tea in my vicinity. I actually keep the curtain in front of my desk closed, and the curtain above my bed open, otherwise I wouldn't stop peeking over my laptop screen to the 'real world', because that would really be distracting ;). 

That's it for my desk, but I did something else... I rediscovered some 'fairy-lights' (or 'christmas-lights' as I would call it literally translated from Dutch) and hung them above my bed, so pretty <3. Actually you see my laptop on my bed in the picture below, obviously I wasn't studying or working anymore when I took that picture ;).
Fairy-lights, ahhw <3
Let me know what you think, and if you have any tips to make my desk more organized you can just leave me a comment or send me a message in any other way :). 

xoxo Floor

maandag 7 oktober 2013

Soooo many laughs!

The name of my blog was meant to be somewhat inspirational. Promoting appreciation for the small things in life. This does not mean that I have completely mastered the technique, though I have my moments where I suddenly realize how much fun I've been having. My life has been quite hectic lately, I started a new masters degree, do 'volunteer work' (don't know whether it should be called that way, it's a loooot of fun!) for Erasmus Student Network and I work on freelance basis here and there. That compared with a lot of assignments gives me quite a lot of stress. My weekends get blurred with deadlines and when I'm at my parents place in my hometown I hardly get out of the door, however looking through my photos from last weekend made me realize I actually had a lot of fun too, that's why I'd like some photos with you :).

Me and my boyfriend at one of my best friends party haha

My mom thought I need to start meditating, and according to her knitting is almost like meditating so she helped me get started again hehe. It's addicting though... I was so bored on the train yesterday that I had to knit a couple of rows (thats knitting-lingo for you)

Funny boyfriend went to the fair and bought me some candy haha. 

Other things I love to do is hang around on YouTube watching funny videos, my favorite from this weekend was Sprinkle of Glitter's video with her little daughter, so cute! If you're in need of a smile you should definitely watch it :) 


Its just these random things that make life so much fun :), I hope you enjoyed your weekend too, and if you'd like: please share your best moments from this weekend in the comments below, I'd love to read them! 

xoxo



zaterdag 5 oktober 2013

Bloglovin

Just a short little message for now because I've already spent hours tinkering on my blog this afternoon.

(Did you notice? I changed the header and added some buttons that link you to new pages, I used a little YouTube video that showed me how, but apart from that I did it all by myself! You'll find the link to the YouTube video below.)

From now on I can also be found on Bloglovin! So just follow this link and it will take you to my page on Bloglovin :)


The YouTube clip about making custom headers
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

donderdag 3 oktober 2013

It's been such a long time!

*Whoooooosh*

Did you hear that? That was the sound of a past promise whooshing away...

After I came back from holiday I suddenly lost the urge to write any blog posts, even though I like writing things for other people to read. Since the summer I've started a masters degree in Business Administration (Management Consulting to be precise) and I've had to write a lot of assignments which hasn't been all that bad. The only sad thing about those assignments is that even though you put a lot of effort in it (or at least, that's what you're supposed to do), nobody will ever read it again...
So I won't be making any new promises, I just want to say that I'm going to try to write a bit more on my blog, either about things that concern my studies or other things that I've been enjoying.

Lately things that I've been enjoying are YouTube video's, especially the ones about beauty and makeup. I like makeup, but I don't necessarily feel that I can't go out the door without wearing any, but its nice to play with and these girls on YouTube make it all look so fun! I've especially been enjoying Zoe (Zoella is her username) and Tanya (Pixi2woo), so you should check those youtubers out if you feel like learning a bit about makeup :).

I've got a Floor-Plan ha-ha!
 

donderdag 25 juli 2013

Teddy Bear



I went to the budapest zoo today, saw a really cute bear that reminded me of my boyfriend ;). What a coincidence someone called 'Joost de Beer' sent me a comment yesterday, but I bet he isn't quite as sweet and cuddly as my teddy bear Joost ;P.

Apart from that it was a nice day, finally some clouds (i think thats the first time I've ever said that). The bears were cute but the baby monkey was my favourite, he had so much fun swinging around in the ropes and making a treehouse with a carton box!

woensdag 24 juli 2013

Roses from Budapest


I consider myself quite an ice-cream connaisseur, especially in summer when it is too hot to bake something myself ice-cream is a nice sweet treat and I only want the best. Well now I've found it! This is definitely the best ice-cream I've ever had! Its a little shop in Budapest with artisanal ice-cream right next to the Basilica. You get to pick two flavors and then they shape it into a little rose, I had panacotta with salted caramel and strawberry with elderberry, yummmm!! So good!!! My only complaint would be the cone, I prefer the real cookie type ones, but for €1,50 who am I to complain?!

dinsdag 23 juli 2013

B-b-b-blogging in B-b-b-budapest

 
On a b-b-b-budget
Drinkinf b-b-b-beer
Everything got even b-b-b-better
B-b-b-bye b-b-b-bye

maandag 22 juli 2013

*enter funny title*


I'm too tired after traveling a whole day to think of an interesting story for you to read... I left at 1 in the afternoon and arrived at 9 in Budapest. After dropping off our luggage, Manouk and I went on a hunt for some food. We succeeded, even though we got made fun of by the waiter because we ordered 'small beers'. Summary: beer, food, back at the hostel, sleep, bye.

zondag 21 juli 2013

Social drinking


They say that you shouldnt be drinking alone, thats why I'm also having a little snack with my glass of wine and I'm watching a crappy movie ;).

Drinking beer all by yourself for some reason feels so much more sad than drinking a glass of wine by yourself. Unless you drink red wine by yourself at nine in the morning... That would be sad too...

zaterdag 20 juli 2013

I segment oranges for fun


I had a very challenging day today and the one thing that really helps me to calm down is cooking a nice meal, as you can see on the picture. I made spaghetti with meatballs, and honestly: those were the best little meatballs in the world. You'll find the recipe below.

I can almost hear you thinking: why that title? Well, I made my store bought tiramisu look a bit fancier by putting it on a plate with some segmented oranges. It looked really nice, so nice I finished it before I had time to take a picture haha. But it was fun to try that technique :).

And now the recipe:
250g of pork mince
250g of beef mince
1 egg
1 handful of parmesan
A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 handful of breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons of mustard
Pepper and salt

I mixed everything together and made A LOT of little meatballs with wet hands, using wet hands makes it easier to roll them. I then put them in the fridge while I made a tomato sauce (2 onions, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 red chilli, 2 cans of chopped tomatoes, 1 tbsp of tomato paste, half a chicken stok cube and let it bubble away for half an hour). Then I got the meatballs out of the fridge and I put them in the oven until they are nice and brown (I play around with the settings, I started with a regular oven on 200 degrees Celcius and then I switched to a fan combined with the grill, doesn't matter how, as long as they get nice and golden brown). When that is done I dunk them in the sauce and I cook the pasta. 

Done! Give it a try, I'd love to hear what your recipe for perfect meatballs is :).