How I was stubborn about my goals, and flexible about my methods on a city trip to New York City.

“Be stubborn about your goals, and flexible about your methods.”

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In one of my previous blogposts I have already hinted at my trip to NYC. Can you imagine my stress when one week before the trip I sprained my ankle while taking one of the beautiful photos of “petite” Alaska in Switzerland?! I was wondering how much I could actually do and see in NYC…

Like so often, a story popped up and I’d like to share it with you this week. It’s the story of Diederik, who owns a vineyard on the shores of Lake Zurich, and it’s about the way he has dealt with disastrous weather conditions for winemakers.

Continue your read to find out what the link with my NYC trip is and what a great learning this story offers all of us. 

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“Into the wild” and what we can learn from that film

“Happiness is Only Real When Shared.”

-Chris McCandless

As you can see on the photos in this blogpost, Switzerland, despite being so organised and clean, can look pretty wild too.

When we went for a walk in Graubünden’s National Park a few weeks back, I felt like really going “into the wild”. Look at these impressive mountains with that first touch of snow on the top. Can you imagine how I felt, walking on a trail amidst these mountains and lots of trees, crossing wild waters (OK, over bridges, but still…) and even spotting some deer and other game. The film “Into the Wild” spontaneously popped up in my head and I turned to my husband to tell him so. In that instant the famous sentence “happiness is only real when shared” got its extra dimension for me.

It’s so true. No matter how happy you are, you are happier when you can share your happiness with others, building up memories together. That is also one of the pains of losing loved ones: shared happy moments can no longer be shared.

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Letting go in order to grow

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.”

 – Hermann Hesse

Next week autumn officially starts. It always fascinates me how nature shows us that letting go is needed in order to grow. How symbolic the falling leaves are.

Somehow, most of us find it difficult to let go, even though we know it is part of life and often a necessary part too.

This week I’d like to share a story with you about a training I had many, many years ago. During this training I was taught the importance of letting go in such a powerful way, that it has helped me ever since. Read on for the full story.

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Sarajevo’s Romeo & Juliet: the heartbreaking story of Bosko and Admira

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

– Martin Luther King

This summer I have done a backpacking tour with my family through several Balkan countries. Sarajevo was one of many destinations and a city that has stolen my heart.

We had already heard several heartbreaking stories about the Balkan Wars, but the story of Bosko and Admira, also called “Sarajevo’s Romeo and Juliet” hit home full force. Around the same time when I was making plans for a future with my husband, they were making plans for their future too. They wanted to escape the besieged city of Sarajevo but that went very, very wrong.

Read on to find out more about this brave young couple and what all of us can learn from their love story.

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Four beaches, four outfits, four stories: all on Fuerteventura

“Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone.” –  Anonymous  

After having enjoyed so many snow walks this winter, we decided to swap the snow for sand and we went to Fuerteventura in February. Wow, what an island! You can find so many different beaches and coastlines there, just amazing.

On my blog I often talk about small changes with huge effects and ladies, I’ve got a great example for you this week!

The first day of our holidays we went to the beach on the east coast of Fuerteventura. The second day we went to the west coast. As the island is pretty small, the change to go from east to west (or west to east) is not a big deal. The effect of that small east-west change is anything but small: it’s big, it’s huge, it’s enormous!

OK, not so big, huge and enormous as the difference between east and west we have grown up with, but still quite impressive. Have a look for yourself: Four beaches, four outfits, four stories. Enjoy!

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Three thankfulness tales

Skirt: Yes or No, Top: Tally Weijl, Ankle Boots: Stravers-Shoes, Bag: New-Yorker

“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.”

– Eddie Cantor

I am enjoying life to the fullest when you are reading this. I will either be on my way to Venice or already exploring the canals, small streets and Italian food, together with my husband. We have chosen to travel by train, because that is super relaxing and you are rewarded with stunning views of the alps and of Venice (the latter we have heard, not seen yet). On top of that: travelling by train is very sustainable.

You will probably remember that my husband surprised me with this romantic get-away on Valentine’s Day. Well, there is more to tell about how he came to that idea. He (or better said “I”) had some help from a rather unexpected source: a 12 year old pupil of mine…Read on to find out more!

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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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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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A flower dress to wear to the country of flowers: Holland

     Dress: H&M, Sunglasses: Cerjo

Last week I told you that I like to pack wrinkle-friendly clothes when travelling. This was one of the dresses I took with me for my trip to Holland, since it is absolutely wrinkle-free and it takes up no room at all in my suitcase. It’s an elegant yet very easy to wear dress, so a perfect choice for the Easter weekend, full of visits to family and friends.

For me my family and Dutch friends are the main attraction when visiting Holland. For a lot of tourists, it’s the many flowers Holland is famous for. So, this dress was in more than one way apt for this long Easter Weekend!

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Black and white Christmas dress

Dress: Sha & Sha, Top: Street One (both previous seasons)

In my last blogpost for 2017 I would like to show you one of my most versatile dresses for special occasions. I have worn this dress at (dinner) parties, at a wedding, to a funeral and I will probably wear it to one or more of the many Christmas events we will attend next week. It is chique and playful at the same time, totally wrinkle-friendly, very comfortable, full of special details and both practical boots and high heels combine well with it. Of all the special details, I like the frill collar most. It reminds me of the dress worn by Snow White’s stepmother. Story lover that I am, this is an additional bonus for me.

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