Boezemvriend » Baby, Boob, Shop and Cafe

Now that I’m a mother, I need to selectively search for those places where I can open my laptop, do some work, enjoy a coffee and breastfeed my baby without people giving me that strange look. Even though breastfeeding is totally natural and an necessity for your baby, some people still think it’s strange when a woman is breastfeeding her child in public. Boezemvriend is one of those places where it’s possible to do this without feeling weird about it while enjoying a tasty latte.

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Still controversial even though breastfeeding is the world’s most natural thing. Source

Breastfeeding Consultancy
As a new mother I know how tough the first few weeks can be when it comes to breastfeeding. Boezenvriend is a lactation consultancy practice, where you can ask all your questions about and around breastfeeding. You can also book a lactation consultant (if needed, they can visit you at home), you can follow courses and buy or rent breast pumps. (always handy!) If you want to check if it’s for you, you can join their monthly birth cafe where you can ask questions to a professional consultant and meet new parents, for free! 

Who says that breastfeeding-friendly cafe’s can’t be cool?

The Cafe
Super nice! I was surprised about the great tasting coffee, healthy muffins and the best hummus & grilled vegetables sandwich I ever tasted! Yes, this cafe isn’t just a secondary attachment to Boezenvriend, no it’s a place I would recommend to all people. And yes, it’s mostly visited by mothers (or fathers) with a baby or young child. It’s so great for that group of customers because you can totally relax. When a baby is crying, no one is looking annoyed because they all understand. Breastfeeding is only encouraged (and the women are still very discreet, covering their breast with a small blanket)

Boezemvriend Cafe Amsterdam

The Store
Here you can find all sorts of baby related stuff. From clothes, blankets, car seats, baby carriers to maternity wear. Labels are mostly organic and super stylish. It’s not cheap but the quality is very good so if you want to score a great baby present for you or a friend, Boezemvriend is a great option! 

Shop Boezemvriend

Who says that breastfeeding-friendly cafe’s can’t be cool? You can find me at this mummy hotspot from now on!

Overtoom 205, Amsterdam
020 471 27 29 
Website

Love,

Elke

Women with a mission in La Paz, Bolivia

Peace on earth, the freedom to make your own decisions, is what the leaders of Catolicas Por El Derecho A Decider in La Paz pray for.
Men make decisions for their women when they get married: How many children they get, when they can visit a friend, the approval for a medicine…. and a lot more. The leaders in La Paz are on a mission, they want to inform women about their rights and their possibilities in Bolivia.



Before speaking with the local leaders of Catolicas Por El Derecho A Decidir about their mission, we made an offering of seeds and water to Pachamama (Mother Earth). Together we prayed for women inside and outside La Paz, for a brighter future where men and women are equal! It was a special moment to experience.

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“I wanted to end my pregnancy, but my husband forbid me to do so”

We spoke with three incredible and strong leaders of the organization in La Paz:

Eugenia “I need my husband’s permission to leave the house”

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She’s 60 years old, makes handmade clothes and sells it to friends and family, she has 4 children and is married.
She found a very nice husband, but in the beginning he was super jealous and therefore she couldn’t leave the house. “He expected me to cook, clean, wash and that’s it. I spoke with other women in my village and some of them were studying and I wanted the same!” Eventually she was allowed to take some courses and after their children were old enough her husband changed his perception. Since then she can do whatever she wants as long as she tells him. She’s is super happy that she can inform and help other women and she wants to do this until her last day!

Encarnacion “Women who want to explore are not worthy.”



She’s 41 years old, bakes cookies and cakes and sells it on the local market, she has 5 children and is married. 
“My dad was an alcoholic and hit my mother on a daily base. My mother protected us, so we stayed unharmed. One thing I know for sure is that I didn’t want to end up with a guy like my father. I found a super sweet man, but his family was horrible. They told him many times that women who wanted to explore are not worthy. So I was not allowed to do anything (work, study.. etc.) and I had to stay home. It got better when other women in our village talked about projects where they learned to sew and cook. This is how I learned to cook even better and eventually I got in contact with Catolicas por el derecho a decider where I now give workshops to my own village people. My husband supports me completely and his family has to deal with it.

Alejandra “I wanted to end my pregnancy, but my husband forbid me to do so”

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She’s 24 years old, studies Communication on the University in La Paz, she has one little daughter of 4 years old and she’s divorced.
Alejandra got accidentally pregnant when she was 20 years old. She wanted to end her pregnancy, because she was still studying, they didn’t had money and her relationship wasn’t that great, but her husband forbid her to do so. He humiliated her when he found out that she wanted to kill their baby. She didn’t have another option, so decided to keep it. Within a few weeks her husband left her and their child for another woman. Luckily her parents helped her out and so she continued her study. She is in her last year, she gives workshops and leisure’s about the possibilities for women on high schools. She talks with young girls in the hope that they have the opportunity to make their own decisions. She’s super optimistic about her future.

Workshops at High school 
After lunch we traveled together with some of the leaders to a Highschool where Catolicas por el derecho a decider gives workshops to young children about gender equality and more. A big problem with young female women is that they get pregnant on a young age and they have no idea what their options are. This day they introduced something new, a card game with questions: What would you do when you got pregnant? Is it OK to enjoy seks? Where to go to when you are pregnant? They try to inform children in a fun way.


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Donate!

One of our reporters Renske appointed it perfectly in her article: “You read a lot about Servië, Iran and Eretria, but we only read about Bolivia in travel magazines. 
The prays and life lessons of these leaders plus the workshops of Mensen met een missie are needed as you can tell. Please donate of you haven’t done yet here!!!

Love,

Sarah

6 Reasons To Still Love Thailand

Thailand. Once a tropical and far away destination but nowadays, more than ever, a super touristic country where real adventure and authenticity seem to be disappearing and mass tourism seems to be taking over. Some travelers don’t even bother going to Thailand any more, but for me, even after three times, it is still one of my favorite Southeast Asian countries. Why? I’ll give you 6 reasons why to still love Thailand.

1. The People.
Thailand is known as the land of the smile and even though ginormous amounts of tourists have found their way to the land once known as Siam, the Thai people still remain friendly. Of course you have the general exceptions such as the merchants on Khao San Road who don’t even let you try something before buying it, but the (big!) majority of Thai people I met remain respectful, friendly, humble and do everything with a big smile.

Bangkok, love Thailand
Bangkok

2. The Food.
Okay, this one is a SUPER big cliché, but so true! I tried fresh Spring Rolls in Vietnam, ate Khmer Amok in Cambodia and love a portion of Indonesian Gado Gado, but, let’s be honest, nothing beats a Pad Thai. Thai food is so versatile, so full of flavor and even as a vegetarian you are treated to mouthwatering dishes day after day after day. And yes, food is definitely a reason for me to go to a country and that’s why I love Thailand ;)

3. The convenience.
Traveling around Thailand is easy. Did I say easy? It is super easy! Every hostel has a travel desk and in every town you’ll find heaps of travel agencies. Whether you take the bus, boat, minivan and TukTuk, everything is well planned out and you’ll always arrive on your destination. Flying is sometimes even cheaper than the train or bus (you can, for instance, fly from Bangkok to Krabi for 20 Euros) and vehicles like minivans are often of good quality. Believe me, if you’ve seen what I traveled with in countries like Cambodia you’ll never complain about a Thai minivan again…

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Traveling through Thailand by boat

4. The Islands.
There are so many islands in Thailand that you could easily stay for 2 months, and there is something for everyone. If you like to go partying you go to Koh Phi Phi or Koh Phangan, if you want to relax I’d recommend Koh Lanta (check our tips on Koh Lanta), if you want to get your PADI or want to go snorkeling then Koh Tao is the place to be and if you’re looking for something different then Koh Chang is where you should set sail to. And what all the islands have in common: they are beautiful.

Krabi, Love Thailand

5. The Temples.
What can I say? I love temples, and Thailand has many of them. Some people say that “after you’ve seen one temple you’ve seen them all” but I strongly disagree, especially in Thailand. In Bangkok you can’t miss the reclining Buddha and Wat Arun, whereas in Chiang Mai Doi Suthep is a definite must-go-to. But also walking into the smaller, less well-known temples that aren’t mentioned in travel guides like the lonely planet are worth wandering around.

6. The Sunsets
Yes, there are pretty sunsets everywhere, but the last few I saw during my most recent visit to Thailand were out of this world. Whether you’re in a busy metropole like Bangkok or chilling on an island, Mother Nature will treat you to some of her best sunsets ever. Order a cold Chang, get comfortable and watch the day turn into night.

Sunsets in Krabi Thailand,
Sunsets like no other

I could go on about the weather, the parties, the adventure, how the Thai people speak English and so on but I think I made my point about why I love Thailand: this country is still more than worth visiting. Enjoy! 

Love,

Evelien

*Evelien is one of our guest bloggers who currently travels and lives in Australia. Follow her on Instagram (@eefexplores) or check out her website!

Gender Equality in Agua Blanca, Bolivia

A bumpy road with lots of llamas and alpacas along the way with breathtaking views. After a 12 hour drive from La Paz we arrived at a small village called Agua Blanca (named after the rivers and waterfalls over here) near the border of Peru. Together with Yolanda and a priest of the organization ISEAT we visited the local village people and lived with them for 3 days. Around 100 families live in this village, nestled between snow-capped mountains. 1300 ft above sea level without any mobile and internet connection. But is that important when you have your friends and families around you and views like these? I was here to talk to the men and women about gender equality.

Agua Blanca

The workshops
The leaders of the village get monthly workshops by ISEAT – an organization of theologians supported by ‘Mensen met een Missie’- . An important topic here is also gender equality and gender-based violence between men and women. Almost half of the women in this village are single, they don’t have faith in men or left their men. The leaders tell us that violence against women is thankfully getting less and that you already see the difference. Men help out in householding and take over some of the tasks from their wives.


The leaders of Agua Blanca


Even more happy together after the workshops

The Future of Women in Agua Blanca
Some of the women and men here, follow the workshops of ISEAT and Mensen Met een Missie. According to them you will find not as much violence in their village like in the bigger cities. There’s still some physical and psychological violence against women but you won’t see that 0ut in the open. Things are getting better.


An interview with the people of the village in their church

The people in Agua Blanca are sincerely and unbelievable friendly

 


Lama’s welcoming us upon arrival

Now it’s time to head back to La Paz where me and my reporters team will have a day to rest before saying goodbye and heading to the salt lakes of Bolivia!

Love,

Sarah

*All pictures are shot by Ilsoo van Dijk

The Wanderlust of.. a Travel Journalist

She has traveled to a stagering 99 countries so far and is going to hit the 100 mark very soon. Sleeping at the most amazing locations, tasting a different cuisine each month and writing about travel in it’s most diverse way. It’s the life of a digital nomad. This is the Wanderlust of Travel Journalist Yvette Bax.

Hi Yvette, tell our readers a little bit about yourself and what you do?
“I am a freelance travel journalist. I write for (mostly Dutch) newspapers en magazines and I travel all year round. You could say I live my life as a so called ‘digital nomad’. My two bases are Cape Town and Amsterdam.”

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Overlooking the Gocta Waterfall in Northern Peru

One of my favorite press trips I have ever done is driving on a snow scooter from Finland to Russia.

For your uber cool job, you travel to the most amazing places. We can’t help but ask; what has been your favorite destination so far?
“Ufff, that’s a tough one. I like several destinations for different reasons. I absolutely love South Africa and Argentina, as they are my second and third home. (As I live part time in Cape Town and have lived in Buenos Aires before.) I love Africa and South America in general: because the people are very warm and open there. Vibrant cultures, very social, with music, sun and laughter. Furthermore I love Japan for being it’s own crazy little planet, the Philippines for the nature and the cute tarsiers with their funny faces that live there. One of my favorite press trips I have ever done is driving on a snow scooter from Finland to Russia. Driving over frozen lakes, on top of meters of snow where I could only see tree tops popping out: truly stunning. Furthermore I love the orange and red dunes of Namibia, the jungle of the Amazon and the roughness of New Zealand..I could go on and on.”

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Yvette at Machu Pichhu, Peru

And what has been the biggest disappointment?
“The biggest disappointment… Well, I was a bit disappointed about the northern part of Java. I did not like the city of Jakarta much: it was very dirty, polluted and full of traffic jams. Not many pretty things for sightseeing either. But maybe if I would have spent more time there I would have discovered more beauty, who knows. But I loved the southern part of Java and the other islands of Indonesia, as Lombok and Sulawesi especially.”

Have you always been traveler and how did this come about?
“I always loved to travel and whenever I could I did. My first big trip on my own was my trip to Cuba, which was a very special experience. I went for 3 weeks and ended up staying three months. That became the story of my life: always staying much longer than planned. I like to spend a lot of time on one destination: to really get to know a place and its people and culture well: to see it from the inside. I spent several months in Mexico, have lived and studied in Surinam, and Argentina where I went to stay for two months but ended up living one year. And now Cape Town is basically my home, where I spent most of my time since the last three years. Although ‘most of my time’ isn’t a lot since I mostly travel non-stop for my work.”

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Yvette’s gang in South Africa. Photo by Binniam Eskender

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Yvette on top of Table Mountain at her second home South Africa. Photo by Binniam Eskender

Do you find it’s hard to settle back home sometimes, because you’re away so often?
“Yes, it’s very difficult. I don’t even really know where ‘home’ is anymore. I guess it is Cape Town, since I spend most of my time here. So I am used to living in different places, always getting to know new people and other new places. It’s a very hectic, intense and crazy life. But I love it. Sometimes it feels as if I am living in a dream: all the most beautiful spots I get to visit.The amazing and interesting people from all over the world I get to meet. I am making a living out of my two biggest hobbies: travelling and writing. I realize every day how lucky I am, I soak in every moment to enjoy it to the fullest and feel very grateful for all this. But obviously it has it’s downsides too: my last two relationships did not last because of the long distance. And I also do miss my friends and family back in the Netherlands, but we video-Whatsapp call a lot, and my parents also came to visit me here in Cape Town last January, that was very special. And my sisters, parents and quite a few friends also came to visit me when I was living in Argentina.”

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Some of Yvette’s workspots in Australia, South Africa and Fiji

They once gave me a 80 square meter suite in the Lebua State Tower in Bangkok, on the top floor with 4 huge balconies, right below one of the most famous roof top bars in the world.

Could you tip our readers with some of your favorite restaurants or accommodations around the world?
“I love the Tsim Sha Tsui fine dining restaurant in Hong Kong: on the 30th floor with an amazing view over the city and the harbor. The cocktails of the Eyebar on the same floor are exquisite too. My favorite food cities in the world are Hong Kong, Berlin and Cape Town, you have to really do your best to find shitty food there.”

“In Thailand they once gave me a 80 square meter suite in the Lebua State Tower in Bangkok, on the 60th-plus-something floor with 4 huge balconies, right below one of the most famous roof top bars in the world. That was pretty amazing. But in the end I would prefer a cute little lodge in the middle of the nature anytime over such luxury: a week later I stayed in a so called ‘floating rainforest camp’, in a tent floating on a lake in a nature reserve in the south of Thailand. More basic but with a priceless view.”

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The impressive view at Eyebar in Hong Kong Souce

 “I absolutely love the Ngong House hotel, just outside of Nairobi, Kenya. It’s a tree house hotel with beautiful views on the famous Ngong Hills (from the book/movie Out of Africa), in a very cozy and intimate setting. In Cape Town my favorite hotel is Cape View Clifton: a small boutique hotel with and infinity pool and incredible views over the Clifton beaches. Bush camping at the Okavango Delta in Botswana with wild animals walking besides your tent is stunning and fun too. Unless you have to pee in the middle of the night, haha.”

Sounds amazing, we should check those out! As a journalist, you must have written a lot of pieces. Which articles are you most proud of and why?
“I like the articles I have written on South Africa and Argentina best, because I think you really can feel the love I have for those places when reading it. And obviously the articles of places I know in and out are the best, because I have a deeper and better perspective of what is going on, so I can share more than just some superficial ‘hotspot’ information.”

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Traveling can take up a lot time, do you listen to a lot of music and if so, what can we definitely find on your travel playlist?
“For quiet times I love listening to soul music and jazz. For dancing I like to listen to deephouse – especially the funky deephouse with African beats that they play here. I also love salsa, samba, reggae and old skool Motown music.”

As what kind of traveler would you consider yourself? (Luxury, backpacker, adventurer etc.)
“All in one.”

And finally; what will be your hundred destination?
“Seychelles or India. Can’t wait!”

Wow, we’re not jealous at all! ;-) 

Love,

Wander-Lust

Check out Yvette’s website or Instagram where you can follow her adventures!

Iceland » An Unforgettable Trip Everyone Should Take

I traveled a lot, but didn’t know the best was yet to come. I love nature, I love adventure and Iceland will give you more of that than you would ever wish for. Sun, snow, rain, hail…all at once. The weather in Iceland creates stunning views. The Icelanders call it the land of the trolls and elves, a country full of magic. This country has definitely a magic touch: amazing landscapes, black beaches, waterfalls, glaciers and so much more.

The Route
Let’s start at the beginning. The golden circle is a route close to Reykjavik with three highlights: Þingvellir, Gullfoss and Geysir. National park Þingvelli is a fascinating place. A park with historical and geological significance, situated in a rift valley formed between two tectonic plates. This landscape marks the boundary between the North American and the Eurasian tectonic plate. Wow! Read more about this natural phenomenon on Wikiipeda.

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National park Þingvelli

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Geiser Iceland
An impressive geiser

Glacier Hiking
The next day a dream came true: a glacier hike. Because of the snow storm that night the glacier was more beautiful than ever. The sun shined over the snow, creating a white sparkling glow. That was not all, a bigger gift was yet to come: the northern lights. My camera couldn’t catch this moment, but it will be in my memory forever. Who says magic doesn’t exist?! Book a tour though this website.

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Hiking the Glacier

Hiking in Iceland

Ice Caves
After a few days and a beautiful but cold morning at Jökulsárlón, a large glacial lake, we went up to an ice cave. The cave was closed for weeks because of the warm winter. The ice was melting. But due to the past cold stormy days, the cave was open again. The tour guide brought us with a monster truck to the cave. Suddenly he said: we are just riding on ice. What a great and unique feeling. An ice cave is created, when a water stream makes a little hole in a glacier. Nature works in a beautiful way. I just loved this area with so much ice. An unique place in the world, and a tribute to this country’s name. More about this Ice Cave tour here.

Transport Iceland
My transport

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One of the stunning Ice Caves

The Blue Lagoon
I ended my trip with a visit to the Blue Lagoon. You’ve probably seen some pictures of this as it’s the number 1 attraction in Iceland. The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal natural spa. The water is filled with minerals, and really good for your body. Bathing in the middle of nature: a perfect way to end this magical trip.

Blue Lagoon Iceland

Don’t miss out, visit this beautiful country!

Love,

Jolien

*Jolien is one of our guest bloggers living in the Netherlands. She has traveled all over the world and seen countries like India, China, Sri Lanka, Australië and Colombia. You can read about her adventures and tips every month!

A memorable day in Bolivia

For some women in the world the 8th of March is just another ordinary day, but for women in Bolivia it is ‘the day’ that they fight against violence. We marched on the streets in Sucre (Bolivia) with around 50 women who all have something in common; they are humiliated and scarred for life. I’ve asked myself the question, will this ever stop?!

Sucre – ‘la ciudad blanca’ or white city, is the capital of Bolivia which lies at an elevation of 2,810 meters. Many of the buildings in the center of this beautiful white-washed town date back to the 16th century.  It’s famous for it’s historic buildings, indigenous culture, nightlife, bars and restaurants. An old-world charm place that is unlike any other. It seems so peaceful, but a lot happens behind doors.

A memorable day in Bolivia we will never forget!

In the early morning we walked with our group of volunteers to the Levantate de Mujer office where around 50 women were ready to march the streets of Sucre. And we marched with them!

They were holding brown papers and shouted what rights they should and want to have: the right to study, the right to work, the right to choose who to marry…… To make an end to discrimination based on gender!




Interview with local radio and tv!

We gathered around at Playa Major with lots of other women and luckily also some men.
Aracely, 21 years old – Marilena, 17 years –  Ligia, 36 year – these are a few of the names and ages of women who are murdered, beaten to dead or burned. These names are visible on a ribbon of waving flags on the square. The leaders of Levantate de Mujer gave interviews to local radio and tv shows. The problem is clearly visible today and that’s definitely needed.


Ribbon of waving flags of women who are murdered, beaten to dead or burned

In the afternoon we spoke with some of the women who participate in projects of Levantate de Mujer. 

Patricia – “My husband punched me several times. I got 3 fractured ribs and a damaged face and more.. But even worse, he physically humiliated me.”


Tears in her eyes

Her story got me. She closed her eyes and began her story:
” I haven a violent past, my husband punched me several times. I got 3 fractured ribs and a damaged face and a lot more.. But even worse, he physically humiliated me. I wasn’t good enough for him and my children. He tortured one of  my children and she died. I still didn’t know what to do, so I let him do his thing for many years. Eventually I got in contact with this organization via a neighbor. I left my husband and I’m still so happy that I did! My children an I spoke with a psychologist and we learned how to move forward. I want to be there for my children, so therefore I learned how to cook, sew etc. I got my confidence back and my children do much better!”

We cried with her and we were quiet for a few minutes….

There’s still a lot of violence against women, but with the help of the workshops of Mensen met Een Missie  there’s an opportunity for these women!
So if you haven’t donated yet, than please do
here!

You will find more info about Levantate de Mujer and Mensen Met een Missie here

All images are shot by Ilsoo van Dijk 


Love, 

Sarah

Vegan sisters host a yoga retreat on Bali

Vegan sisters Isabella & Loulou Machine have already set ground in Amsterdam with their monthly Go With The Glow vegan brunches that attracts hip Amsterdam. Proving that a vegan lifestyle is anything but boring, they introduce new people to a lifestyle that is kind to animals, the planet and your body. This coming May they are taking this message overseas and the girls will host a vegan yoga retreat in Bali named Love Out Loud.

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Total Zen in Bali
The boutique resort in Bali will be situated in between the rice fields of Ubud and will focus on yoga and spirituality. The ‘LOVE out loud’ yoga retreat is there to break the boundaries of a consciously styled life to live more from the true intentions of the heart. There is a 7-day full circle of yoga program designed to fulfill the desire of the participants who want to raise their consciousness to a higher level. The program offers physical challenges, attention to spiritual growth accompanied by a former monk, a vegan and organic menu that reflects the principles of yoga, breathing techniques and silences.

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The Naya Resort in Ubud

 

Connect body and mind with yoga, listen to your heart in silence, feed your soul with plant based food and awake. LOVE out loud! 

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Healthy vegan food will be served during the retreat

Date: 25th – 31st of May 2017.
The Vegan Yoga retreat cost vary between € 1650,- ( including a single room) € 1550,- (including a double / shared room) or  non residential for € 850,-. Prices do not include flights to Bali.

For more info and tickets, check the Facebook Page.

Love, 

Wander-Lust

Heineken opens a bakery!

Heineken is the leader of the pack when it comes to beer but when they announced that they are going to open a bakery this month, we were a little surprised.

But actually it’s not such a crazy idea. Heineken isn’t the first that is using their yeast to created tasty bread. A couple of students created BrouwBrood, where they use the rest products of beer to create tasty buns. This way they avoid food waste and create a healthier bread.

Heineken opens a bakery

Heineken are using their so called “A-Gist” (yeast) to create this bread. In order to give it the best opportunity, they have asked master boulanger Mark Plaating to create the bread. Curious on how it will taste? You can try it yourself between the 18 -21 of March on the Vijzelgracht 37 in Amsterdam. Watch the video here:

Heineken Pop-Up Bakery
Vijzelstraat 37, Amsterdam
Open daily from 12 til 9pm

Did you know that you can drink beer made out of rainwater? This beer brewer did it!

Beer made out of rainwater

Malibu: The California Dreamer’s Paradise

There’s a 27-mile stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway that dips and rises, drops then peaks, allowing its riders both the feeling of being enveloped in the coastal cliffs and the exhilaration of cruising above the endlessly blue and shimmering Pacific. Malibu, California is only 30 miles from the bustling downtown LA, and myriad movie stars, Hollywood elites, and affluent Angelinos are lucky enough to call its beaches and bluffs home. With a Mediterranean climate and breathtaking estates sprinkled across its hills, Malibu manages to make an average day feel like a holiday.

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So, when you wake up early on a day off in Los Angeles and are wondering over your morning coffee how to best soak up your daily dose of Vitamin D, why not head to “The ‘Bu”?

Kickstart your morning with a healthy sweat
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or more of a nature-walker, the hills of Malibu provide a medley of trails to suit your style. Each hike has its draws, but when I want a moderate challenge and impressive panoramas, the Los Leones Trail is my top pick. This 7.2-mile hike starts in the Pacific Palisades and winds through Topanga State Park. Relatively graded, judiciously shaded, and beautifully lush, the coastal-canyon trek summits at 1,525 feet, and the ultimate view of the sprawling coast makes it so worth the sweat. You’ll know you’ve reached the top when you find a lone bench; sit, stretch, meditate, or just absorb the awe-inspiring vista. You’ve earned it!

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Stunning views on top of the Los Leones Trail

Reward yourself
Malibu Farm is a full-service restaurant and bar at the start of the iconic Malibu Pier. To best appreciate its prime real-estate, I opt to sit outside on the patio, stilted above the waves as they crash on the sandy shore. With something for everyone’s taste, the menu takes advantage of local, fresh produce, and each item comes out of the kitchen impeccably presented and reliably delicious.

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Contently taking in the view chardonnay in hand

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One of my favorites on the menu is the Cauliflower-Crust “Pizza” – it has just the right amount of pesto and mozzarella spread atop a perfectly crispy crust. The Chicken-Broccoli Quesadilla and Raw Brussels Sprouts Salad are two other must-orders if you’re looking for shareable starters. Or, if you want something a bit more substantial after burning calories on your morning hike, the Breaded Mustard Chicken Sandwich offers juicy chicken breast breaded ever-so-lightly in a hint-of-mustard breadcrumb mix, topped with tomato, arugula, red onion, and tomato aioli.

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Care to imbibe? The General Manager, David Shoham, is also the Bar Manager and has crafted some signature cocktails just for this ocean-side eatery. Leading my list are the “Watermelon” – mixing cucumber-infused vodka, watermelon and lime juices, and organic agave; the “Coconut” – featuring toasted coconut-infused rum, coconut agave, and fresh pineapple juice; the “Smoke” – blending mescal, shishito peppers, chipotle agave, and freshly squeezed lime juice; and the “Jalapeno” – balancing Uno Dos Tres organic tequila blanco, jalapeño agave, and lime juice. Special shout-out to the Jalapeno cocktail, as it allows for the awesome flavor of this popular pepper without too much of the heat. And the best part? The agave syrup used in these masterpieces is made in-house! Or, maybe you’re feeling like a chilled glass of wine, instead; I recommend the crisp and dry Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Valley Chardonnay. Yum! www.malibu-farm.com

Inside-restaurant Malibu Farm
Pop inside for a Malibu Farm Cookbook or gourmet gifts to bring home.

Taster’s Tip: The Malibu Farm Café, a sister site to the restaurant and bar, is located at the opposite end of the same pier!

Catch the sunset
If you’re looking for a change of scenery after your meal (although, you’ll probably never want to leave your cozy, ocean-front seat!) and a taste of the grapes of the coast, Malibu Wines is an ideal final destination from which to watch the sun go down over the Pacific.

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Wine with this view: What more could you ask for?

The Malibu Wines Tasting Room is nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains and offers two labels of wines: Semler and Saddlerock. Choose whether to take part in a tasting flight or indulge in a full bottle; either way, sip your wine on this estate’s vast lawn or at one of the rustic tables provided. Outside food is allowed, so if you’re still peckish after your bite at the Farm, stop by the Malibu Country Mart on your way for some snacks to graze on while you drink.

As you soak up the last moments of daylight, drinking your fermented grape of choice and listening to the rocking live music (it never disappoints!), you’ll wonder why you didn’t find a way to make all those other ordinary days before into extraordinary ones; and, you’ll already be planning your next unforgettable day spent in Malibu.

Love,

Shae

*Shae is our guest blogger from Los Angeles. An educator whose lust for experience influences her teaching, she travels with the desire to immerse herself in diverse cultures, seeking new adventure and inspiring others to engage with compassion and expand their world view. Follow Shae on Instagram! @seekvantage

More about California? Read Shea’s tips about hidden gem Marina Del Rey:

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