My Week in Pictures - A burger on Saturday
Personal

My week in pictures

Hello guys, welcome to another Week in Pictures. I didn’t do much at the beginning of the week, but had a very well filled weekend. Plus I added a little cat bonus at the end. ๐Ÿ™‚

The first pictures is from last weekend though, when I went to the gallery opening of the Musketon art show. During the weekend nothing much happened, until Friday, when I had the day off. I spent it blogging and figuring out what to do with my life. I also found my blog-planning list again, which I lost somewhere last week. >.<

My Week in Pictures My Week in PicturesMy Week in Pictures

On Saturday, I went to Brussels on a bloggerdate with Kathleen. We went to Waterstones and couldn’t stop ourselves from buying some books. Afterwards went for lunch and spent the afternoon talking about blogging, social media and life. There were a lot of laughs and I had a blast. ๐Ÿ˜€

My Week in PicturesMy Week in PicturesMy Week in Pictures

Sunday was for long walks in the park where I had to run during gym class in my teens. We also enjoyed the ridiculously nice weather we had this weekend. I think I even have a little sunburn.

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All of the pictures in this post (except for the first one) I took with my new Sony RX100 M3, which I tried testing this week. I also took some pictures of my cats, which seems to work better with the small camera. They feel less intimidated, I think.

My Week in PicturesMy Week in PicturesMy Week in Pictures

So, that was it for this Week in Pictures. I hope you also had a nice weekend and could enjoy the weather a bit. See you tomorrow! ๐Ÿ™‚

Personal

Sometimes a little goes a long way

I don’t think anyone reading this blog is surprised when I say I have a low self-esteem. I try to be open about thisย so that people at least know why I sometimes have a hard time with seemingly simple things. It’s also because, at one point in life, I got tired of pretending I didn’t have a low-self esteem.

The problem now still is, how to get rid of it? This self-esteem issue, combined with a looming case of anxiety (hello, I’m 29 and I hate driving a car because it still scares the shit out of me) do sometimes stop me from Doing Things. I miss the days when I was more devil-may-care. I also feel likeย because I acknowledgeย my self-esteem issues I also keep them alive. I’ve defined myself as someone with this problem, thus I have it.

If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences.

The question is, how do I go from here? To be honest, I have no idea. I’ve already talked about doingย Radical Self Love, but I never really started on it. And then, I got a pair of shoes in the mail. I spend ages shifting through the pages of the Sasha site, wondering whether I should get more feminine Chelsea boots (and jump the fashion train) or get the semi-combat boots which remindedย me of my punk/goth period in high school.

Sometimes a little goes a long way, like receiving a pair of shoes that impact your self-esteem

Maybe it’s a bit embarrassing to say, but I absolutely love these shoes. They’re not that pretty to look at, but they feel 100% completely me. They even make me feel more me. And thus, a seemingly insignificant choice on a shoe-store website, made me feel a bit different.

And maybe it’s the shoes or just realising that picking out things that feel more me actually make me feel happier. Since then I started wearing more clothes in ways that feel more me and done a couple of things that are definitely not what my angsty low-self esteemย me would do in a jiffy (cutting my hair short, signing up for events, reaching out to people). ย And I think I still have more up my sleeve.

So here’s to picking me. Cheers. ๐Ÿ™‚

Big thanks to Sasha Shoes for the awesome pair of boots they send me and for their endless patience in waiting for me to write this post.

A postcard saying "maybe swearing will help", because sometimes you really just need to struggle through to start creating again
Inspiration, Tips

8 Things I do to clear my head and start creating again

Sometimes, (eg when you’re writing a blog post a day) you feel your creativity falter. You run out of ideas and before you know it, you’re stuck. I think everyone has their own methods to start creating again, but it can still me very inspiring to see what others do. So, here are 8 things I do to clear my head and start creating again.

Btw, I got inspiredย to write this post after reading about Hanne’s 10 self-care things she does when she feels miserable and can’t create anything.

8 Things I do to clear my head and start creating again

1. Tea. Heaps of tea.

Preferably black tea, with some sugar, or apple-cinnamon. Just by getting some liquid in me (I’ve a bad habit of drinking too little water) I can feel completely re-energized. Also makingย tea (boiling a kettle, putting loose tea in a holder, having it soak for a bit) takes enough time to unwind your brain a bit.

2. A long, hot bath.

Especially with a bubble bar or a bath bomb from Lush. The tub is my thinking space and I often get so energised and full of ideas I want to get out quickly again. But most of the time I just write things down (there is a notepad next to the bath at all times) and enjoy the soak.

8 Things I do to clear my head and start creating again

3. Put on some music.

At the moment, I listen to Disturbed when I really need to focus. Their quick metal songs bring me head banging back into ‘the zone’. When I have a little more time, I put on my “Random Dance Party” playlist and start shaking it. Fifteen minutes later you’re ready to rumble! Singing along also helps just clearing my mind.

4. Clean.

Whenever my studio space gets cluttered it means my head space is cluttered. Cleaning my physical space always is a good start to get the gears running again. I do have to be careful not to overdo it, because sometimes I use cleaning as an excuse not to start on something.

8 Things I do to clear my head and start creating again

5. Do a brain dump.

Sometimes I feel like my head gets clogged up with ideas I’m desperately hanging on. By writing everything down I create more space for new things or give myself the chance to actually work them out one by one instead of feeling overwhelmed.

6. Get some exercise.

Start a mini-dance party (see earlier), but also: run the stairs up and down a couple of times, go for a walk, do some yoga, do some high-intensity training. Just moving my body also makes my brain move again. I also have a couple of exercises I can do on my desk chair when I really don’t have time for a work-out. And if this costs too much time, a couple of good stretches also can do wonders.

8 Things I do to clear my head and start creating again

7. Go to a new place.

It’s not always possible, but sometimes I just need to get out of my trusty environment. Visiting a museum in a nearby city, going to the beach or to a forest are things that often help. And if those are not working,ย it means I need to go farther away from my comfort zone. It’s not always possible, but I think that looking for a country or a culture you haven’t met before and spending some time there might be the most rejuvenating thing you can do.

8. Sometimes nothing helps.

It’s ok; sometimes nothing helps. I try not tho fret when I get to this point. I’ll just make it an early night and pamper myself. Hot chocolate and blankets on the couch in winter (with some nicely scented candle) or spending time outside in the sun, with a book. Enjoying the weather and the sound of birds. Giving my brain some time off always helps to get back into the flow because there really are days you can’t force it.

(Alternatively, when I really need to finish something, I’ll just fake it. By going through the motions I’m used to, I can still create. It doesn’t work if you have to do this daily (it feels like you brain is walking through heavy mud), but pushing through once in a while, isn’t a bad thing)

8 Things I do to clear my head and start creating again

Even though I have all these back-ups for getting me back into my zone, there is only one thing that absolutely 100% makes my creativity peek: doing something I absolutely hate. Whenever I had to study for exams, I was constantly jotting down ideas because my head was overflowing with them. But it’s not really possible to recreate this setting, as it calls for a specific environment.

What do you do to kick-start your creativity again? Anything foolproof you’ve discovered to start creating again?

How to keep your plants happy
Interior, Urban Jungle

How to keep your plants happy (and fill your home with greenery)

I love having plants in my home. Almost every room in my house has it’s fair share of greenery and I can’t imagine having a house without plants. I often hear people saying they don’t know how to keep plants alive or people saying that they don’t have a green thumb. So let me tell you how to keep your plants happy.

How to fill your home with greenery and keep your plants happyHow to fill your home with greenery and keep your plants happy

01. Make sure you put every plant in a place they love

Some plants like lots of direct sunlight, others hate it. Read the label on the plant when you buy it or ask theย florist what the preference of the plant is. Using common sense also helps to decide what the plant might like. Plants that like a moist environment (who easily dry out) often like a more shaded spot.

When you really don’t know you can almost always tell how the plant feels about its place after a couple of weeks. Plants who don’t like direct sunlight often have brown edges on their leaves or burnt patches. Do the leaves look duller or are the colours fading? Then the plant probably likes a place with more daylight. Move your plants around until you find their perfect spot.

How to fill your home with greenery and keep your plants happy ย Keep your plants happy by giving them a bath Keep your plants happy by giving them a bath

02. Water regularly, but never too much.

Giving the correct amount of water probably is the easiest way to keep your plants happy. I handle watering plants in a very simple way: every two weeks I gather all my plants in the kitchen or bathroom. I place them in the tub or sink and gently spray them with water. When there are a couple of centimeters of water in the tub/sink I stop spraying. Now let the plants soak for half an hour to a couple of hours. Afterwards, I let the water drain and wait half an hour before removing the plants so the excess water won’t stay in the flowerpot.

I do this with both succulents, orchids, ferns,… Between baths, I always keep an eye on plants that need extra watering, but I try to avoid watering them in their pots. Whenever I get lazy and stop giving them baths, that’s when the casualties fall. I don’t own any cacti (I tend to over water them, or as I call it, I smother them with too much love), so I can’t help you with those.

A small tip: if you’re wondering whether it’s time to water your plants, put your finger in the soil!ย Just feeling the top soil can be misleading, especially for plants near a window. If the soil under the crust still feels moist, you can wait with watering a bit longer (unless you have a drama plant who basically lives in water and is starting to droop).

How to keep your plants happyHow to fill your home with greenery and keep your plants happy

03. Keep an eye on your plants

Plants aren’t just pretty decoration, they’re living things, so you’ll have to keep an eye on them. They can get sick, get bugs or are sometimes in need of extra water or nutrition. Take a good look at your plant’s leaves once in a while, they can tell you a lot about how your plants are faring:

  • droopy leaves: probably in need of water, but droopy leaves in combination with wet soil means the opposite!
  • brown spots:ย too much or too little water, sunburn or too much fertilizer
  • sticky leaves or a sticky environment of the plant: your plant has bugs. I’ve noticed this with both aphids, scale insects and mealybugs. Keeps these plants away from your other plants. Get yourself a pesticide and prepare for battle. Getting rid of pests is hard. Sometimes you can’t save your plant and you’ll just have to try taking pest-free cuttings and getting baby plants. Throw away the pest riddled plant and keep an eye on your other plants the following weeks to see if the creepy crawlies have spread.

How to fill your home with greenery and keep your plants happy

04. Don’t forget: plants need food too!

As with all living things, plants need food too. They get it from their soil, but if they haven’t been repotted in a long time that soil can run out of nutrients. This is something that happens faster with high maintenance plants that also need a lot of water. So, once every month, add a bit of plant food to the bathing water to keep them happy. Whenever you putย fertilizer in the plant bath make sure to leave them soaking for a bit longer. Getting those nutrients inย takes time!

If you notice your plant is getting too big for its pot, it’s time to move to a larger one. Whenever you do this, the plant also gets a boost thanks to the nutrient-rich fresh soil you’ve added.

So those are a couple of tips to keep your plants happy. Tell me, are you a plant lover or a plant killer? Which tricks do you use to keep your plants happy & alive? Please share them in the comments, I’d love to learn new tricks.