The reward of resilience: 3 impressive and inspiring stories of 3 wonderful women

Skirt: H&M, Top: Yes or No, Shoes: Vans, Sunglasses (new): Cerjo

On the 11th of the 11ht at 11 hours it will be a century ago that WWI ended. This summer we visited Verdun, one of the most notorious battlefields. We walked through a beautiful and peaceful forest, which once was a terrible battlefield full of mud, explosives and hungry, wounded and dead soldiers. It was an eery feeling, knowing that in the grounds of this fairy-tale forest lay the remains of 80.000 soldiers…

I got the feeling that in this horrible war, few soldiers had the chance to decide whether they were going to be a victim or a winning warrior. They just had to fight.

In our daily lives we fortunately often have the choice: to fight or to give in, to give up. Two months ago a friend of mine posted an article on linkedin about the reward of resilience. It is so impressive and inspiring that I want to share her story here, along with a few others, to show you the power of persistence, the reward of resilience and that we, fortunately, have a choice: do we want to be a victim or a winning warrior?!

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10 small things that make you happy on a trip

Last year I spent 10 days in London, doing a communication course. This made it a completely different trip than my ‘normal’ ones. First of all, I was travelling alone and the trip was less of a holiday as you can imagine. I did have time to explore London a bit at the end of most days (see photo diary here) and somehow appreciated lots of small things in these hours more than I usually would have. I wrote them down shortly after my trip and then forgot about them. Last week I was scrolling though my files, found this little list and realised how many of these small joys would be a joy for any of my trips. It also made me aware how many of these joys I find in my daily life in Switzerland too.

So, let me share these 10 small things that made me happy in London with you. Some of these are very much related to London itself, while others apply more in general. I am sure you can rely to many of them and will agree with me that travelling, like friendships and life, isn’t about the one big thing, but about all the little things.

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Fresh & Foul, Stone & Sand, Music & Maths: 3 inspirational stories for you!

After reading my own blogpost about the awesome autumn cakes I couldn’t resist baking one (again). Having lots of apples at home, I chose to bake the apple fudge cake. You only need two apples for the recipe, so I picked 2 good looking apples and started cutting them into pieces for my cake. The first one was absolutely fine, juicy and fresh. The second one however, one that was just as good looking as the first one, was bruised and mushy inside. That reminded me of a powerful metaphor. Since it has been a while that I have posted a story on my blog, I decided to do so this week. And because it has been so long, I have selected not 1, but 3 inspirational stories for you. Enjoy them!

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An apple a day keeps the doctor away: 3 healthy autumn cakes

I am sure it works with a pear too…(more photos of the soft blue jumper here)

Autumn is the ultimate season to enjoy fruit such as apples, pears and figs. Eating them whole is most healthy of course , but hey, how about baking cakes with them? This week 3 recipes for 3 delicious cakes to spoil yourself or, even better, to enjoy with friends. When you have read my blogpost about female friendships you will know that spending time with female friends is very good for you, as is eating fruit. I assume adding the two will double the effect or probably even more than that.

As a foreign language teacher I know that learning 3 times vocabulary for 3 minutes is much more effective than 1 time 9 minutes. I bet this works for eating cake with friends too; much more effective health-wise than eating a cake alone.

Knowing the subtitle of my blog, small changes with huge effects, rest assured that the recipes are easy ones with an amazingly yummy result. Pick the one you like best or bake all 3  and organise a coffee morning for your friends! They will love how well you take care of their (emotional) wellbeing!

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What’s in a name? 5 tips to learn and remember names!

The name Macbeth is associated with blood and drama!

What’s in a name?

I am sure you are familiar with the above quote. It’s from the famous Shakespeare Play “Romeo & Juliet”. To give you an answer to that question: there is a lot in someone’s name! Actually, you can say that our name is the most important word in our vocabulary. Just think about what you feel when your name is misspelled, mispronounced or even worst: forgotten! Because a name means so much to each of us, it is a good thing to remember and use other people’s names. That is true for teachers with regard to pupils’ names, but it is equally true for almost every profession and for almost everyday encounters with others. I will tell you why exactly and, because knowing and using names is so important, I will also provide five tips so you can better learn and remember names.

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You are what you read: 3 novels I can recommend for your summer holidays

Sunnies (new): Cerjo, Top: Jones, Shorts: Vögele (previous seasons)

In my blogpost Tips for happy summer days I recommend reading as a perfect way to enjoy your summer days. To inspire you, I will list 3 novels in this blogpost that I think are absolutely worth reading. Like I have written above: You are what you read. You will see that this is very true for my choices. One novel is all about the love for reading, the second one is all about the love for writing and the third one takes place in a school environment. Well…meet me! All three novels have three  elements in common: They stay with you for a long time after having finished reading them, there is drama involved and despite these 2 factors they all are an easy read. So, let’s have a closer look at my choices, shall we?

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What do you see?

Dress: H&M, Shoes: Vans, Sunglasses: Cerjo (all previous seasons). More photos here

If you follow me on instagram you are most probably interested in what you see on the photos. Yet……..what exactly do you see? Look at the above photo. Do you see a 40+ woman? A small woman? An English teacher? A woman who likes travelling?

The funny thing is that I post one photo and then there are so many different views, feelings, thoughts and so on people can have when looking at it. When you realise that there are always different perspectives, you will enable yourself to see situations from different angles and that has got some advantages. Let me explain in more detail!

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A perfect match

Colour-wise my jumper is matching with this typical Dutch windmill. The two of us are in perfect harmony. This principle of matching in order to create a feeling of harmony can be used in communication as well. It is a great tool in many interactions, both inside and outside the classroom.

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Black & white for the 4th & 5th of May

Dress: H&M, Sunglasses: Cerjo

After last week’s King’s Day it’s another special day in The Netherlands today, Remembrance Day, hence the little black dress on my blog this week. As you can see I have chosen a beautiful white background for my photos. That is because tomorrow is Liberation Day in The Netherlands. Since blossoming trees are associated with new beginnings, I thought this black and white combination very apt to illustrate this week’s blog post…

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The importance of female friendships

Skirt: H&M, Jumper: Tally Weijl (for more photos, see here)

“Friends are like the pillars on your porch. Sometimes they hold you up, sometimes they lean on you and sometimes it is just enough to know they are there.” (unknown)

I am blessed with many female friends. Some I have known since my childhood years, some I have met during my study years and some have become my friends because their partners are my husband’s friends. I can even call many female family members real and close friends. I have also actively worked on making new friends in Switzerland, so yeah, over the years this has resulted in quite a number of female friends.

Why are female friendships so important to me? Why are female friendships so important to women in general?

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