maandag 27 januari 2014

Barcelona Haul - clothes and souvenirs

Happy Monday everyone!

The week has started again and I thought it would be a good idea to give you some things to procrastinate with for a little while... after all, I hope you had a wonderful weekend and you're enjoying those memories as much as I am enjoying mine.

As you might know, if you liked my facebook-page, I spent the weekend in beautiful Barcelona! It was close to perfect, the weather was great, the food was even better and spending some quality time with the Boyfriend was the best! If only there was a way to see the whole city without ruining your feet and back (and no, I refuse to go on one of those ridiculous busses, excuse me if you do).

Joost and me on the beach near Barcelona
As a food fanatic Barcelona was one of the best places to go to, I totally fell in love with the way people live and eat and everything that comes with it. I've got a couple great posts planned out for you guys that are food related, but those take a bit more planning and to be honest... I'm procrastinating myself, because I've got a test to study for... 

However, a little haul never hurt anybody, so let me show you what I scored in Barcelona. The first shop I went into is called Oysho. What attracted me were the sportsclothes that were hanging in the first part of the shop. It is not a brand I'm familiar with but they have so many cute things! Mainly underwear, sleep wear and sportswear but also some accessories. If I didn't have to save some money for food and rent for the rest of the month I would have spent it all in this shop, but in the end I only bought two things. The cutest house socks in the world and some bright hair clips! The socks are super soft on the inside and very long, I mean, they don't reach up to my knees, but halfway up my calves is still pretty long in my sock collection haha. They have one big sheep on each foot and then it looks like a landscape on the rest of the sock and on top you see blue sky with mountains. On the bottom it has slip-proof rubber dots so I can run around the house without falling down the stairs, score!

Cutest socks in the world!
I also bought these hair-clips because they were cheap and bright pink, they're a little bit contrasting with the colours I'm wearing at the moment but I think they'll look really pretty with my spring and summer clothes! 
One of a set of two hair-clips from Oysho
On friday we were planning to go to a club called Opium, Joost had some connections and managed to put us on some kind of guest-list (don't ask me how or what, that planning what to do was kind of Joost's department), but that meant we kind of had to dress up. I did bring a dress, but in the end I decided that I was in need of a new black skirt that I could dress up for going out, but also wear with a jacket and a blouse for something more formal. I bought this at Mango and it is part of the new collection I believe. Sorry the picture looks so wrinkly, it is kind of short but long enough to be decent and it is the tiniest bit longer in the back and rounded. Oh and it has pockets, which makes it even better!

My wrinkly skirt from Mango
And the last thing I bought was sort of a gimmick, there was this store called 'Happy Pills', which sounds a little bit doubtful but it was really cute. It's philosophy was that candy can make you happy and you could pick out your candy as if it was medicine. Then you put it in a little medicine jar and put your own sticker on it with prescriptions on it! The store was really cute with white and pink, but I wasn't allowed to take pictures of it... Luckily I did buy my own medicine ;). 

Happiness pills!
Besides some stockings that is all I bought, as you can imagine I spent more money on great tasting food (and some beers haha...), but I'm glad I found these treasures because they will remind me of the fun times I had in Barcelona :D.

I hope you liked this post, and I hope it didn't come as too much of a surprise that I didn't post anything for a couple of days. If it was, please check out my facebook-page so I can keep you updated about my blog! Please leave me a comment down below (or on my facebook page) and you can expect some more posts during the rest of the week about the great Spanish food I enjoyed the last couple of days ;). 

xxx Floor

zondag 19 januari 2014

Earl-grey honey madeleines on a sunny Saturday

Hey everyone! How are you? Did you have a nice and sunny sunday? I don't know whats up with the weather in the Netherlands, but it was so sunny here this weekend, I almost thought it was spring already. Cray-cray and I'm loving it!

Sunny view in the living room

I've been eyeing this recipe for green tea madeleines by Sorted Food for a little while now, the flavors really intrigued me and I loved the idea of small, portioned and light cakes! So when my mom treated me to a madeleine pan I knew what I wanted to make. Unfortunately I didn't have the ingredients to give my madeleines the green tea twist, so I went for a culture clash theme: delicate French madeleines with traditional English flavors! The result was sooooo yummy, and they look so cute on a pretty plate or cake standard, how could anyone resist?

Earl-grey honey madeleines

3 bags of traditional English tea or Earl grey
3 tbsp of boiling water
3 tbsp of melted butter

2 eggs
1/3 cup of sugar
2 tbsp of honey
2 tsp of vanilla
1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
3/4 cup of flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt

Start with steeping your tea in the three tablespoons of water, over the cup you're making your super strong tea in! Leave it for 30 minutes and then add the tea to your melted butter untill you see something like this:

Melted butter with very strong tea
Mix your eggs with the sugar for about four minutes or untill you're left with a pale and foamy mixture, then add your flavourings: the honey, vanilla and lemon peel and let it mix for another minute. Then sift in your dry ingredients and slowly with a spatula fold the dry ingredients in and after that do the same with your melted butter / tea. Be very gentle because you don't want to beat out any of the air!

Sifting flour, salt and baking powder
The finished batter
Put clingfilm on the surface of your batter and chill it for at least 3 hours. After that the batter will seriously look like a mousse, so if you pull off the cling film and you see all of the air bubbles you know you've done well! 

Butter and flour your madeleine pan, preheat your oven to 200C and then carefully heap tablespoons of the batter in the madeleine shapes. You don't need to fill them completely, the mixture will rize a bit! 

Madeleine pan

Leave them in the oven for 10 minutes and I can recommend you to stare at them while they're cooking, I can promise you they won't freak out ;).

When they're done they are light and yummy and perfect with a cup of tea, especially when they are sprinkled with icing sugar!

Give them a go and let me know what you think, or please leave me a comment on my facebook page or in the comments below if you have any other flavor combination!

Lots of love,

Hyper Smash

woensdag 15 januari 2014

Happy thoughts + Vichy micellaire solution review

Haaaaaappy wednesday everyone!

Wow I had to think for a minute there... Sometimes days seem to blur into the next, I almost thought I was still living on tuesday! Which wouldn't be a bad thing because I had one of those crazy awesome days yesterday, one of those days you really want to share with everyone!

It started with winning a contest on the radio, I won a E100 gift voucher for a traveling agency, the most hilarious part of that is that the traveling agency is specialized in trips for 16 to 18 year olds who've just finished high school and want to spend a week on the beach and in clubs killing several IQ points haha! If you have any way of helping me to decide on whether I should use my E100 discount on a trip to Chersonisos or Salau please let me know! At least it was a great feeling winning something!

Then when I got home from class I entered my room and I saw my bed was made, which I thought was a very nice thing of my boyfriend to do. But when I turned around I saw this:

Nine pretty roses from Joost <3

Isn't that the sweetest thing?! This friday we've been together for 9 months, and he knows I'm going home to my parents place on friday so it would've been a waste of flowers if he gave them to me on friday so he secretly put them in my room yesterday! Anyone who knows me knows how much I love flowers... I know in the Netherlands they are relatively cheap, but I don't have the money to buy fresh flowers each week, so this is a real treat for me!

Flow Magazine

Later when I checked my mail I found a new edition of my favorite magazine, I knew it was on it's way but it just added to the happiness of the day yesterday when I found it. This one is in Dutch, but the makers recently have also started bringing out an international version. As you can read on the cover it is called 'Flow' and it really is a magazine for paper lovers, they use different types of paper, print the most beautiful illustrations and have great articles in the themes 'simplify your life', 'feel connected', 'live mindfully' and 'spoil yourself'. If you've never read it before and you see it somewhere in a shop I really think you should give it a try, or maybe buy it as a gift for someone else. They discuss so many things, all focussed on what can make you feel happy. If you want to check it out, visit their website!

These were all very time specific things that made me happy, but there is one thing that I've been excited over for almost a month now... It's the Vichy micellaire solution. I know a lot of beauty bloggers have been raving about the Bioderma version of micellaire water, but honestly, I really thought that one was way too expensive. I was looking at teeny tiny bottle in a Belgium pharmacy two weeks ago, but I think that might have been more than 10 euro's for a 50 ml bottle... that's insane.

Vichy Micellaire Solution 

I got this 200 ml bottle from Vichy for Christmas and I've been LOVING it. You might remember my posts from before Christmas... I was ridiculously stressed out and my skin showed the results of that. This cleaning lotion from Vichy costs about E12, it cleans and calmes your skin AND it removes make up. My skin feels so clean after I've used this product, and this is usually only the first step I take in cleaning my skin! Imagine how squeaky clean my cheeks have been lately ;). Anyway, I had a lot of little spots and redness in my skin because of the stress, but this micellaire solution helped restore all of that. You only use a little bit of this product on a cotton pad (the first few times I made the mistake of drenching the pad in the water, totally unnecessary!) so the 200 ml will last you a long time! If you've been wanting to join the hype on micellaire waters but you haven't been able to get your hands on a Bioderma one, give Vichy a try! In the Netherlands this brand is widely available in pharmacies.

Okay... this post is a bit longer than I intended it to be, but I hope you enjoyed it! As you can see, I've added some buttons that refer to my social media profiles, but there is also the old and very much loved commenting system below, so please leave me a comment, tweet, message, pin or instagram me about the crazy or not-so-crazy things you've been up to, because I'd love to read them!

I'm off to making some dinner and a yoga-class *third-workout-in-a-week-whoohoo*!

Lots of love,

zondag 12 januari 2014

A weekends treat: Chocolate-caramel fudgy brownies

Happy Sunday everyone!

Hows your weekend? Did you have any fun activities planned, or did you just lounge around the house and enjoy some quiet time? My weekend has had a bit of both: on Saturday is spent the whole day in Groningen, which is the largest most northern city in the Netherlands. I went there on an excursion organized by ESN, and if you've been reading my blog for a while you know that I am on its culture committee and that we organize these excursions a couple of times a year. Groningen is beautiful but the weather was a bit of a disappointment, at least the first half of the day. The second half ended up being quite sunny but by 4 pm I was on the train to Nijmegen for a dinner party at one of my best friends house. All in all a very fun day that was concluded quite late when I was back at home in my cozy bed.

This morning I didn't have to rush so I enjoyed that cozy bed a bit longer than necessary, wasting my time, watching YouTube video's as always haha. In the afternoon I had to go into town and the weather was surprisingly beautiful, it almost seems like spring is in the air... but that can't be, right? I had the sun in my face when I walked into the inner city of Utrecht and treated myself to a cup of coffee. On my way back I did some grocery shopping and by accident I ended up with all the ingredients for brownies... Oops! :D Now let's hope there'll be enough people to help me with eating it...

The recipe is one of my all time favorites, I found it in the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and I've been using it for literally YEARS. You end up with deliciously fudgy brownies and they're horrible when you were planning to loose some weight. The recipe is also very basic, so it allows you to add some other ingredients to make it a bit more special. This time I chose to add caramel and sea-salt flakes, but you could also add chocolate chips, chopped nuts, dried fruit, mini marshmellows... basically anything! I think everyone should have a brownie recipe on hand, so that is why I'm giving you my special one, I hope you enjoy it!

Chocolate-caramel fudgy brownies


125 g of butter
100 g of chocolate
2/3 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp of vanilla
2/3 cup of flour
1/4 tsp of baking soda
a pinch of salt

and I added

1 tbsp of Cocoa
a handful of caramel fudge
a sprinkle of sea-salt flakes

Start with pre-heating your oven on 180 C. Grab all of your ingredients, one large bowl that is heat-resistant, a pot with boiling water, a wooden spoon, a chopping board, a knife and a cake tin. 
Put the glass bowl over the pot of boiling water, break the chocolate in small pieces and add it to the bowl together with the butter. Make sure everything is almost completely melted and then take it off of the heat.Add in the sugar and it cool down for a bit. After that add in the eggs one at a time

Mix all of the dry ingredients together (the flour, the baking soda, the salt, and the cocoa) and add it to your liquid mixture. 

When you've reached this stage you've finished the basic recipe. After this step I chopped up some of the caramel fudge and I added it to the mixture. 

Put everything in your greased and floured cake tin and sprinkle it with some sea-salt flakes. Then put it in the oven for at least half an hour if you're using a real brownie tin. I used a cake tin, which gave me some thicker brownies, but I had to cook it for about 15 minutes more. 

And then comes the most difficult process: waiting. I'm always way too excited to get my brownies out of my tin, so I try to wait at least 15 minutes before turning the cake tin over, but really you should give it a bit more time... My brownie crashed and the bottom looks horrible haha, still it tastes really nice and especially the sea-salt gives it another dimension.

So guys, I hope you enjoyed this recipe, give it a try and let me know what you think, or tell me in the comments below what your favorite brownie recipe is! Enjoy the last bit of your weekend and have a great start of the week tomorrow!

Lots of love,

donderdag 9 januari 2014

Feel-good Thursday: I love Dove!

Haaaaappy thursday everyone!

Are you having a good day? Enjoying the new year, and sticking to your new years resolutions? I've had some minor failures but also some great successes already! If you've read my last post you know that I decided to cook more often and healthier, but then life happened haha. I had so many fun things to do this week, and a lot of these things involved going out for dinner with friends... I love going out for dinner with friends but that did mean that I only cooked dinner once this week... whoops!

On the other hand, I managed to go for a 40 minute run already twice this week! Such an achievement! I can already notice the effect it has on my energy levels and the way I feel in general, I can really recommend you to go out for a little walk or a run if you're feeling down!

On top of that I started getting back some grades from the exams I had before christmas, and I found out that I finished one course with an 8,5/10. Considering that it is almost impossible to get a 10/10 in the Netherlands (that's similar to an A+) this is exceptionally good, I'm sooooo happy, you can't imagine!

But there is something else that is getting me excited at the moment, and I've got two great hints for you: the first is the title of this post and the second are these pictures:

I found the best conditioner/mask for my hair, and you already know what brand I'm going to talk about. I LOVE DOVE! I wouldn't want to say I have particularly 'difficult' hair, but if I want it to look the way I want it I have to spend about half an hour drying and styling it. But then came Dove and their miracle called: 'Hair Therapy - Nutritive solutions - Nourishing oil care' and I'm convinced this is the One for me.

Dove conditioner + treatment

 It does not weigh my hair down, but it does smooth down my hair and make it seriously shiny. I used it as a replacement for my normal conditioner, before this one I was using the Dove Intense Repair conditioner but I didn't feel that was doing it for me. My hair is also not that damaged, I have never colored my hair and I only use a blowdryer and sometimes a straightener on my hair and when I do I use a heat protectant. I do have a lot of hair and it's very thick as well and it tends to get dry so I always have to use a lot of product in my hair to get it soft and silky. I usually don't like wear it super straight but slightly wavy (that is how my hair naturally is anyway), but without a great conditioner I need to straighten my hair to make it super soft... Well, those days are over! So if you have a bit thicker hair and you like to use products like Moroccan Oil or any other type of Argan Oil I can really recommend this product, it will save you time, money and it won't weigh your hair down at all!

I hope you're also having a great week, please let me know whether you'd like to read more posts like this one, I've got some more products that I love and I would like to share with you :).

Lots of love, 

vrijdag 3 januari 2014

New years resolutions & my first home made butternut squash ravioli!

Happy 2014 everyone!

How was your christmas? And your new years eve? And all the other reasons to eat too much food and have too much to drink! I hope you had a great time and enjoyed everything you did (and ate), because I sure did haha. First christmas day a dinner at a nice restaurant with my boyfriends family, second christmas day (it's a Dutch thing, don't ask) a Indonesian dinner cooked by my parents and the days after that all the left overs of the pies my mother baked, can you believe that there are STILL left overs?!

New years eve was a lot of fun too, I spent it with my boyfriend and his friends. An evening filled with music, dancing, too much food, too much to drink and too little sleep. For some reason however I take very little pictures these days... I have a very nice camera but I always forget to take it places... So that is my first new year resolution: take more (good quality) pictures.

Fun on the train to Liege (Belgium)

My second new years resolution has something to do with all of that food I ate over the last two weeks. I'm all for eating. But I'm also all for looking good, that is why I am going to work hard to be more practical about cooking and to cook more and healthy.

I can imagine you wondering how all of those things add up, so let me explain that to you: I don't always have the time to eat, which results in me eating something simple which is not very good for me. On other days however I have more time to cook and do groceries, so I'm planning to just (ha-ha) plan ahead, do more groceries at once, cook more for a couple of days ahead so that I can enjoy more healthy home cooked meals. Oh and I'll have to cycle more so that I'll burn that extra weight that I might have gained.

I started this resolution quite good today. My parents where out so I had their kitchen all to myself and I decided to make butternut squash ravioli. I got the idea while I was strolling over the market in my hometown with Joost when I saw some delicious looking butternut squash and sage, so I bought all of the ingredients that I thought would fit well together and then when I looked it up on the internet I discovered that SortedFood had already done a similar recipe, so if you want to see a youtube video about this recipe you can check it out here:

I adapted this recipe a little bit, but I used their recipe for pasta. It ended up tasting wonderful, and soooo filling! It is a little bit time consuming, but it was the first time I made it so I hope it'll take me less time the next time I make pasta. To give you some inspiration, here is the recipe for my butternut squash ravioli with goatscheese and sage. 

Butternut squash ravioli with goats cheese and sage

1 butternut squash (diced)
1 red onion
1 clove of garlic
1 large handful of sage
fresh goats cheese
olive oil

250g of pasta flour (00 type)
3 eggs
a pinch of salt

I started with roasting off the cubes of squash with some olive oil and a bit of the sage. I put the oven on 200 degrees Celsius and left the squash in there for about half an hour or until everything is soft, and a little bit darker of color. 

While the squash is in the oven dice the red onion and sweat it off in a pan with some olive oil, then add the garlic and the rest of the sage. When the squash is ready, mix it with the red onion, add salt and pepper, squash and mash it until it is almost a smooth mixture and then let it cool down.
It doesn't take long to sweat down the onion and the garlic so when the butternut squash is still in the oven, make the pasta dough. Put the flour in a bowl and make a little well in it. In this well I added the three eggs and a pinch of salt. I mixed everything together with a fork until it had a crumbly texture and then I put it on a clean surface to knead the dough. I did that for about 5 minutes until I had a nice and elastic dough. Leave the dough for about 15 minutes.

Make sure to use type 00 flour!
This is the moment when I got out my parents' pasta machine and my little brother. I think it is possible to roll out the pasta by yourself but it definitely goes faster with the help of someone else. I separated the dough into smaller pieces and started to work them trough the machine, first on the first setting, then I folded over the dough a couple of times and kept putting the dough through the first setting and then I went on through the settings until I reached setting 8 on my pasta machine. 

You can also make some linguine if you made too much dough! :)

When you have your thin sheets of pasta you make sure you have two sheets ready to go (either you make two or you cut one long piece in two, that's what i did). I put a lot of flour on the bottom of the bottom sheet to make sure it wouldn't stick to my surface, and then I brushed the top of this bottom layer with milk. I then started to spoon my squash mixture with teaspoons on the bottom layer, to every heap I added a little bit of goats cheese and then carefully I added the top layer of pasta. When you do this you have to make sure there are no air-bubbles between your bottom and top sheet, because that would cause your ravioli to explode when you try to cook them. After I covered them I cut little shapes with a pasta cutter and I made sure all edges were sealed. 

I cooked them off in a pot of salted water for about 3 minutes, and I served them with a simple tomato sauce and some more goats cheese. It was very very very yummy and really not that difficult to make! You could very easily make a large batch and freeze a lot of this stuff for later in the week (that's what I did!). 

Yummy home cooked deals every day of the week! YES!

I hope you enjoyed this post and this recipe. Please let me know what awefully yummy things you ate over the holidays and whether you have any similar new years resolutions and how you are planning to stick to them, I'd really love to hear it! 

Lots of love,