5 Ways To Instantly Feel Festive


If you're anything like me, you won't have any trouble getting excited for the holidays. I'm such an autumn-winter person anyways: I love the seasonal change outside and the super-cozy days inside. And when Christmas, and especially Christmas decorations get involved, I go a teeny-tine bit nuts.

How To Get & Stay Organised In Uni (And Life!)

Since this is already the fifth year I'm in uni, I think I am getting quite experienced in coping with stress and getting organised. Like I said in my last uni-update, when I was younger I really had to learn how to plan my studying. Not anymore though: to-do lists are my life and every couple of weeks or so I go through my planner and see what needs to be done.

Cranberry & Chocolate Chip
Cinnamon Cookies


Hi everyone! Sorry I've been MIA last week, I just had to push out those last midterm deadlines. But I've done it and I have a little bit more free time again! I have decided that I'm going to try to upload two times on my blog from now on - three is just a bit too much with the end of term coming closer and closer. Nevertheless, I think it's important to make some time for hobbies, so there's no way I'm going to leave you anytime soon!

Uni Update : Midterm Is (Already) Here...

Ehrm, whaaaaat ?! I know I'll sound like a granny saying this, but where. did. the. time. go.?! As I find myself typing away in the library (just check my Twitter if you don't believe me - it's all I've been doing for the past couple of weeks), I can't believe how fast these first two months of my degree have gone by. It feels like October didn't even happen (and that makes me a bit sad considering it's my fave month of the year...!). However - I did get a lot of work done and I'm on the right track. Want to know how I've survived my midterm deadlines...?

Outfit // Back To The 90s

My boyfriend and I have recently started watching Friends from the beginning (again...) and I can't help but admire the girls' outfits every single time. Especially Rachel is on top of her fashion game, and I love it! It inspired me to get my high-waisted mom jeans out and to pair it with a high-necked knitted jumper. I think it's a winner!

Current Wishlist // November

So with November just around the corner, I thought it was about time to create a November wishlist.
I have found myself thinking more and more about my future - making plans for when I graduate - or at least thinking about what's next. I'm also really excited about the fact that it's getting closer to Christmas. I can now start thinking about winter decorations and Christmas music (almost) without getting strange looks, woohoo !

Have a fabulous week and let me know what you think of my wishlist ! xx

1. Travel Across The U.K.
This is probably the least unrealistic wish of the bunch - but hey, a girl can dream right? I don't really know why, but since a couple of weeks I got this urge to travel across the U.K.. I would love to see more of its nature and beautiful old towns. Scotland is on the top of my list, although I would love to see it all at some point.

Let's Talk About... Social Pressure

 I don't think I've ever fully been able to not care about other people and their opinions.

 Of course, this doesn't have to be a bad thing. Keeping others in mind will make you a more sociable and empathic person. However, when this consciousness of other people and what's going on in their mind becomes a priority in your brain, it may stem from insecurity. And that isn't great, to say the least.

I think my social insecurities are rooted even deeper than I think. From a young age, I've had difficulties to feel part of a crowd and accepted by my friends. I've always had the tendency to feel alone in a group of people and to cope with an almost full-time exhaustion of trying to keep up with the latest trend or newest gossip.

Only when I started university, I found a group of people which made me feel like coming home. Of course I have made friends before that time, but up until my 18th, I'd never found the right crowd.

Outfit // Changing Colour Like The Leaves

If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen that a little over a week ago I went and got myself some new jumpers. They already got a little sneak peak in my packing post last week, and today I want to show you one of them in a bit more detail.

This lovely mustard yellow // almost orangey jumper from Mango is so soft and warm - when I felt the fabric in the shop, I just HAD to try it on. And I ended up absolutely loving it!

Healthy No-Bake Dark Chocolate
Fudge Brownies


Ohh, you guys, these brownies are another success story in my baking-book. There is nothing more than a chocoholic like myself craves more after a long day of studying or working, combined with a cup of tea, candlelight and a good book (or Gilmore Girls... hello Netflix!) than something super-indulgent and sugary. And guess what? These fudge brownies taste like chocolate butter - but are made with ingredients that will make your body very happy. Ehrm, win/win situation anyone? :D

Packing For Frankfurt


I've never been particularly good at packing - in fact, I always take 20 outfits for 2 days (sort of..). But since I'm going on a uni-trip tomorrow with all of my new classmates, I figured this would be the time to become the queen of minimalistic packing. No one wants to be the one with the 20kg-suitcase for a midweek away, right?!

Uni Update : A Month Has Passed!


Ehrm, WHAT ?! Time goes by so so sooo fast now that I'm back at uni, it's a bit ridiculous. And scary, because my first deadlines are already creeping up on me... Want to know how I've experienced my first month back at university, working on my MA degree?

Easy Cinnamon & Apple Mug Cake


I like to keep my baking simple and easy - no difficult ingredients or weird instructions. I would like to think that when you come across one of my recipes, you can whip it up in an afternoon with things you have lying around in your cupboards!

This is also one of the reasons I love mugcakes. It is basically a little cake in a mug, which you cook in the microwave rather than in the oven. The whole process is usually done in less than 10 minutes and then you got yourself a warm, tasty treat. Being the chocoholic I am, I usually make a dark chocolate mug cake, but last week I decided to create my own recipe for something a little more autumnal. Expect a ton of cinnamon coming your way these upcoming months (it's one of my fave spices to use in baking), starting off with this oh-so-yummy, super gooey cinnamon & apple mug cake!

Current Wishlist // October

I have so much love for the month October. Even though it has come upon us a bit fast (ehrm, September, did you even happen ?!), I'm so excited that the air is crisper and the scarfs are out. Since I enjoyed doing a wishlist last month so much, I decided that this one may be a keeper (for now anyways :)). So here are the products that are currently saved on my phone, ideas which I'm pondering over in my head and things that I want to start doing! Here's to another lovely, autumnal month :)

1. Embroidered Ankle Boots
 I came across these beauties from Miss Selfridge a couple of weeks ago and haven't been able to get them out of my head since.

When You Move To A New City

Hi everyone! I hope you're all having a lovely start of your weekend. I unexpectedly have the day off of work so I'm spending it in the library... being productive, as always ! ;)

Today I wanted to write a post about my experiences moving to a new (unfamiliar) city. I'm living in Leiden now for about 7 months and I feel like I'm currently in the middle of a transitional phase: it's starting to feel more like home here now, and I don't go back to Utrecht as often as I did before and during summer. Moving to a new city, away from your friends and the familiar, can be daunting - so maybe some of my tips will help you settling in and feeling less anxious about a big move!

Shortbread Cookies with
Dark Chocolate & Hazelnut Topping

Hello everyone! Now I seem to be in a bit of a baking mode lately, if you haven't already noticed! I definitely don't consider myself a foodblogger or a baking expert, but I do enjoy trying out different recipes and making up my own. The way I see it, when a baking-session has been a success, I may as well share it with you guys... So today, I give you - my recipe of these shortbread-like cookies with a nice touch of dark chocolate and hazelnut!

Autumn Interior Inspiration


Guys ! It's actually been raining last week - and that made me a bit happier than it probably should have, haha :) To be fair, it's been like a late summer for the past few weeks whilst all I want to do is snuggle up under a blanket with my thermal jumper, a cup of tea and a book! Now that it's actually getting a bit chillier, I wanted to share my autumn interior inspiration with you. Lot's of burgundy and lot's of natural tones - so if that's your cup of tea, there's more after the jump... :)

Five Tips For When
You're Overwhelmed By Everything



Almost a month has passed since I started my MA degree, and I can officially say it has got the better of me. The first two weeks I was so full of energy, doing so many things on the side and studying until 10PM. Last week, however, something snapped. I came home from class one day, sat on the couch and felt the energy completely seep out of me. And I haven't really recovered from that yet!

I think the first few weeks was just pure adrenaline. Everything was new and exciting and there was SO much to take in, that I just went in full force and worked on energy reserves I didn't even know I had. And of course at some point that has a finish line! Anyway, at that point last week everything got too much. This MA is just SO incredibly busy and demanding, and there are so many new and different things to get acquainted with... I literally can't keep up.

Now this isn't meant as a pity-post, but I'm sure some of you can find yourself in this story. University degrees are just super-demanding, let alone when you throw other factors in the mix such as a side job, hobbies and seeing friends. So today I wanted to sit down and write out some tips and tricks that can help anyone (including myself) when life just gets a little much. This doesn't just count for students, of course!

Outfit // Edging Up


Happy Wednesday everyone! Hopefully your week had a bit of a better start than mine...
On Sunday we noticed there was no hot water in our flat, which was quite uncomfortable. Luckily it's fixed now but it was just one of those things I could add on top of my stress-pile, and I couldn't really deal with that that well... but more about those stressy things later this week - for now I want to share this outfit with you!

Healthy(ish) Chocolate Chip Banana Bread


Ahh, I'm so excited about this recipe. I've really been enjoying looking for more healthy alternatives in baking (like switching up butter for applesauce or avocado! Crazy huh?) and trying them on good-ol' favourites. And I love me some banana-bread! I definitely think this one is a winner - your house will smell great and your tummy will thank you after. What's not to love?

Why I Love Being A Morning Person

Since I'm back to a university/study schedule, I've discovered how much I love the mornings. In the evenings, I usually prefer to go to bed a bit early - even if I don't go to sleep straight away, I like to read, catch up on some social media or watch Modern Family with the boyfriend. It's so cozy and relaxing, which of course is much needed after a busy work or study day! It also makes me wake up earlier and much more chilled out. So yes, I'm definitely a morning person. Want to know my secrets? :)

Outfit // On A Rainy Day


There's nothing quite as good as an oversized jumper on a grey, rainy day, am I right? I am someone who gets cold really easily, so as soon as that temperature drops to below 18 degrees, I am cuddled up in knits. Today I'm showing you one of those (casual) outfits, which I wore to uni the other day!

Uni Update : The First Week Of My MA


As I'm typing this, I just finished my first week of my Master's degree in Book and Digital Media Studies. Since this is such an exciting time for me, I really wanted to write down my experiences and feelings - not just to share with you guys but also for myself, hopefully so I can look back on it with a smile!

Top Five Best Ikea Hacks

I love me some good-ol' Ikea hacks! I find it so cool how you can turn something fairly cheap and easy to acces to something that will fit perfectly into your interior and will look expensive at the same time. Today I've listed five Ikea hacks which are not only very affordable but also very easy to do. I actually have a lot of these ideas saved on my Pinterest boards, but some of them require a lot of tools and extra materials. I wanted to select a few who are so easy to make, you can put it together during a free weekend or something (because we all get so busy now it's September again!). Let me know which one is your favourite, and if you have any others that you love!


1. Wooden Plant Stand Plant Stand by Sugar and Cloth 
I love this one because it's so easy, and it would fit perfectly in my interior. The plant-stand that's used is the PS 2014, if you're wondering. I think this one may be a winner for me!


2. Mid-Century Chest of Drawers by A Cup of Life
A fellow Dutchie made this incredibly chique looking chest of drawers from the Ikea TARVA. I really want to try this one, since I still need an extra storage space in the bedroom. May attempt it on either the TARVA or a thrifted (bit cheaper) version!


3. Gold & Marble Bar Cart by The Belle Vie Blog 
Being the party-animal I am (erhm, NOT), I probably wouldn't use this DIY for its purpose. But to be honest, it's pretty cool what this woman did to a simple, SUNNERSTA kitchen cart. Maybe I would make it a bit more my style by spraypainting it black instead of gold (or copper?), and replacing the shelves for wood. And ditching the booze for books... ;)  Do you have any other ideas?


4. Pottery Barn Cupboard by Sawdust 2 Stitches
If you're a Pinterest lover like me (or just an interior-design junkie in general), I'm sure you're familiar with the apothecary-look drawers that are totally on trend right now. A Pottery Barn version of this will cost you about $.... (look up), whilst Sawdust 2 Stitches has managed to create a beautiful look-a-like at a fraction of the price. I'd say this hack is the most difficult of the five, just because you need to attach lots of wood to the existing Ikea furniture. But the hard work will definitely pay off, just look at it! You could also find another cupboard (with existing fronts) and just use the hack from when she is decorating the actual cupboard fronts. Either way, I think it's amazing that the Ikea cupboard is still somewhere underneath there.

5. Ombre Painted Baskets by Pear Mama
This one is so easy but so adorable! I'm always looking for on-trend ways to store away our not so on-trend bits and bops, and this DIY with a basket set from Ikea is so affordable as well! I couldn't find the exact baskets on the website, but I think the FRYKEN set will work just as fine (or any other basket for that matter). Love!

Healthy Chocolate & Nuts Oatmeal Cookies


Last week, before all the craziness (a.k.a. uni-work) started, I went to visit my parents for two days. I always love going there because if feels like a mini-holiday. They live in a small village in the countryside and literally all you hear around you are bees buzzing and the rustle of the trees. It's so peaceful!

I also felt very inspired to bake something whilst I was there. With the start of uni to look forward to, I knew I wanted to come up with something that was healthy but satisfied my craving for something sweet at the same time. Especially during lectures and library session, I like to have a snack at the ready at all times (either for when I actually feel peckish or just a little bored, ha!).

Current Wishlist // September

I always think September feels like a new start, even more than January does. School starts again, new fashion styles arrive in stores and the air just feels fresher somehow. I get really excited about autumn, so compiling a list of things I'm looking forward to wasn't hard (but narrowing it down to five pointers was!).

1. Red Cozy Jumper
1 - 2 - 3 
I am a big fan of knitted jumpers as it is, but I don't think I've ever owned a red one. I don't really know why!

The Last Day of Summer

Like I said before, I am truly ready for autumn to come around. Especially because I associate starting uni (less than ab week to go!) with brisk winds and leaves falling, I don't understand how it can be 28 degrees Celsius right now. I don't want to wear my shorts anymore, or my sleeveless tops... (anyone who loves summer must be screaming at their laptops right now.. sorry!)

How To Make Your House Feel Like a Home


Since I've moved into my own apartment five months ago, basically all I've been doing is buying and DIY'ing things for the house. I love having my own space (alright, and a bit for my boyfriend too ;)) to decorate how I want. I definitely got my love for interior design from my mum; from a young age, almost every summer we would repaint the walls in my bedroom and move all of the furniture around while we were at it. I've always loved what a can of paint or even just some new bedding could do to a place. Really, if all else fails with my literature studies degree, I'd love to become an interior stylist instead.

Back to Uni


Since I've graduated in January, I haven't really given school another thought other than when I signed up for my upcoming Master's degree. For the most part, I've been enjoying the exam- and essay-free zone I've been finding myself in. Yes, I have been working for four days a week and that has been quite hard at times, but on my days off I was actually free to do whatever I wanted to do. And especially because I've moved not so long ago, I have loved doing my own thing on those days.

DIY: Stylish Ikea Bedside Table


Hi everyone!

Last week I spent some of my free days DIY'ing for our new place! Up until now we were still using little stools (which were dirty and old and... just not cute haha) as nightstands but after a little browse on Pinterest I found this IKEA hack with the NESNA bedside table. It's so easy and cheap to do, so I decided to give it a go and I think they've turned out great!

I gave the wood a darker colour by using some woodstain and then my boyfriend and I put some white adhesive vinyl over the glass top. It makes it look so much more effortless and a little less "Ikea", if you know what I mean. And it's also the best relationship test (#patiencerequired), haha! If you would like a full how-to, I found the idea on this website.

Personally, I think the bedside tables go great with our white bed and wooden floor! I also welcomed some industrial shelf-units into our home with about 8 cans of spraypaint (me oh my), so I'm thinking about sharing that with you as well. Let me know if you would like to see that!

For now, I hope you're having a great week!
x

Linen & Lace


Hi guys! I hope you're all having a lovely weekend :)
As I am typing this, it is pouring down with rain outside... I already knew it was too good to be true that we had about five days of gorgeous weather in a row *sad face*. It's part of living in this country I suppose, haha. I did try to enjoy the sunshine as much as I could, but I've also been very busy in the house this past week. I've built and DIY'd some new furniture, which I will show you very soon. Now I'm having four days off of work without a screwdriver or paintbrush in hand. Time to see some friends, watch some Netflix, and relax!

Anyway, today I want to show you this beautiful linen top that I got from Zara a few weeks ago. I love the cut and how summery and dressy it looks. Plus, one can never really go wrong with a high collar, am I right? I really like the way it looks with my cut out boots (Topshop but old) and some vintage high waisted shorts. So easy but so cute! What do you think?

So can summer now come back to me please? Thank you! ;)

Have a nice day!
x



Homemade Dark Chocolate & Almond Granola




Hi everyone!
I am so excited to share this recipe with you. Not just because it's my first ever recipe on my blog, but also because it's something I've been trying out and tweaking for the past couple of weeks.
My time in Canada has left me with a bad habit of buying chocolate cruesli from the grocery-store and, as you probably know, that's not the healthiest option. I often felt like my breakfast was making me more tired and didn't fill me up as well as it should. I recently got an oven at my new place (which made me way more excited than it probably should), so one of the first things I tried was making my own granola. I've tried a few different recipes and I feel like this one, with my own adjustments, is perfect.

What I love about this recipe is that it is so easy to make and requires only five ingredients which you can all find in your local shop. And even better? Without the almonds and chocolate, you got your basic granola recipe. You can basically add anything you'd like! 
A few of my tips? Leave out the chocolate and almonds and once you've spread out your oats on your baking tray, cover them with a bit more honey. This way they're a bit sweeter but without adding the cocoa. Of course you can also add coconibs, dried cranberries, dates, superfoods, whatever floats your boat. Have some fun with it ! :)

The original recipe was in cup measurements so I just tweaked mine following those, but for your convenience I've measured out what all the ingredients would be in grams. This batch lasts me about a week (and I eat it almost every morning) which is perfect. 


- INGREDIENTS -
¼ cup / 40gr coconut oil
½ cup / 150gr honey
3 cups / 240gr  old fashioned oats
½ cup / 70gr almonds (chopped up)
½ cup / 50gr dark chocolate (chopped up)

- RECIPE - 
Start of by preheating your oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
Pour the honey and coconut oil in a little sauce pan and melt slowly on the lowest heat possible (you definitely don’t want it to boil). Let it cool down a bit.
In a large bowl, mix the oats with the chopped up almonds and pour in the honey/coconut mixture. Mix this with a large spoon until all the oats are covered with the honey mixture.
Line a baking tray with baking paper and spread out your sticky oats to cover the whole tray.
Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. My oven requires me to turn the tray around after about 15 minutes (so all the oats get baked evenly), but see what works best for you. You want your granola to be a golden-brown colour.
After these 30 minutes, allow the granola to cool. This is important: it might not be as crunchy when you first take it out of the oven, but it gets crunchier as it cools down.
When your granola is fully cooled down, you can put it in a mason jar or any other type of airtight container together with the chopped up chocolate.

NOTE
Original recipe from chefsavvy.com, tweaked to my preference.


Changes





Hi everyone!

Yes, yes, I know, I know. You don't have to say it. I've been MIA for way too long!
So many changes have happened over the past couple of months and I just couldn't keep up with real life, let alone my online one!
Since I've graduated, my boyfriend and I have actually moved in together! We're living in Leiden now, since that's also hopefully going to be the place where I'll be starting my Master's degree in September. I quit my sidejob in Utrecht in April and I'm now working four days in a café around the corner (which is a lot of fun).
So you can imagine I've been superbusy with the move, changing jobs and generally just getting used to living in a new city. I'm loving it though, especially the fact that I can now fill an entire apartment with furniture and bits and bops that I like! Of course it's not fully how I want it to be yet but it's getting there.

In between all of the chaos that was my life for a couple of months, I did start to feel the urge again to photograph and write about things, be it cooking, interior design, DIY's, fashion or just my life. So that's what I'm doing again, and I couldn't be more excited about it. I already have some posts on the way, plus a whole list on the side with all of my ideas on it, so I'm definitely very inspired at the moment. Now let's hope I can keep it up (haha) ;)

Love, Leneth

10 Things I Learned at University




Eek! This month I'm completing my Bachelor's degree. Whilst I'm really excited to pursue other things for now (and start my Master in September), it's also a teeny tiny bit scary. I've been working towards this diploma for three-and-a-half years and then all of a sudden, it's done. No more deadlines, papers and classes for the next 8 months. I will leave a lot of memories behind, and I think that deserve its own blogpost. I really feel like from the moment I started studying at university, I have learned so much and grown up a lot. So here it is, 10 things I learned whilst studying at Utrecht University. On to new, exciting things!

1. Perseverance pays off.
Not all of the courses I took were much fun, but in the end, it's important to keep the greater goal in mind. Just get through that textbook or utterly boring novel (yes, there were some of those!), because in the end, it will be worth it.

2. Experience comes when you are ready.
Life comes at you when you least expect it. When I started uni, I was worried I was still too much of a 'kid' compared to my future classmates. After all, I was still living with my parents and never really fancied someone (in that way, yes). Looking back on it, how much is to be expected from an eighteen-year-old? There's still plenty of time to experience things such as living on your own or the idea of love.

3. People can like you, for you.
I think for me, uni was the time that I learned the true concept of loyalty and friendship. No more trying to fit in, or pretending to be someone I wasn't. At uni, I started to feel free, appreciated and loved by people who were much more like-minded than most of my highschool class mates.

4. You won't always excel.
And that's okay. Putting 100% of my effort into a project, essay or revision for an exam is the best I can do. And if that means getting a 6 instead of an 8 (out of 10), then that's fine.

5. It gets messy sometimes, but it's always a good lesson.
You can only fully experience things by trying, failing and succeeding. Life is not always about rainbows and butterflies, but the rough times made me grow and develop as an individual. And in the end, that's never a bad thing.

6. Some people come in your life and change it for the better.
Both the positive and negative people. Whether they stay or go. Everyone and everything is a lesson for the future. And in the end, the toxic ones taught me where I stand in life, and allowed me to be open to some of the best things that have happened to me.

7. Balance is key.
Studying is great and all (or wait, no, what?) but you can only analyse so many poems a day. I have learned to plan certain days off in between stressful periods. Having some free time, whether I spend it watching series in bed or going shopping with my mum, always refreshes my mind and gives me new energy.

8. You won't be able to avoid negativity.
Even if you try and keep out of drama, it's not always possible. I often got frustrated because of that, but I've learned that I need to view it as a lesson and an opportunity to prove to myself I can be the bigger person. Staying close to myself allows me to handle situations likes these a bit better, and it makes me feel stronger as well.

9. Don't be afraid to throw yourself in things.
Falling on your face is part of the process. I try not to let fear guide me in a negative direction, but rather, I try to see it as an opportunity to prove the opposite. After all, I like to believe I can do anything if I set my mind to it (right?).

10. You don't have to have everything figured out yet. 
Uni has taught me a lot, but of course, not everything. As an individual I keep growing, learning and trying, probably for all of my life. I can't wait.

Tranquility


I have realized that the importance of a safe and tranquil environment is not something that should be underestimated. Personally, I have been experiencing a fair amount of stress and disruption in my mind because of a shift in peacefulness, both in my living environment and in my head.
I see now how the two go in conjunction.

When I compare my mind to my living environment, the parallels are uncanny. Since I occasionally have difficulty breathing, my body and mind are always in a bit of extra need of oxygen. So is my living space. Whenever I go to my parents and breathe in the fresh air of the outdoors, trample in the muddy soil with my dog and spend time with my family, I feel free. Not only do I have more oxygen around me, but I also recharge my brain to cope with busy city life. Especially now I'm just one month away from graduating, these deep breaths are much welcomed.

As we are just a little over a week in into the new year, I feel a strange tranquility coming over me. I blame it on the fact that I just spent four days in the country side, away from the rushed chaos that is my life. A distance that has allowed me to catch my breath and relax my mind.
Breath in, breath out. Personally, it's not always as easy as that, but with this newfound serenity, I feel as if every breath helps me clear the space in my mind. On to better things in 2016, with full lungs of fresh air, a clear mind and a happy heart.