You may have seen them in your Instagram feed. The beautiful straw hats with various words written on them. The Slogan Beach Hat is the musthave for this summer!
Large beachy straw hats are both practical and fashionable. Nobody wants a burned face right? You can now order your personalized hat with the words of your choice. All the way from Lebanon, we feel the best customized slogan hats are made by @bitsandpiecestogo. Just have a look at their Instagram account! We ordered one and can’t wait to show it off.
As a traveler, you always have a few things on your bucketlist that NEED to be done. These could be destinations, but also experiences. Most people would agree if I said that taking a roadtrip with an old Volkswagen Van would be one of them. I certainly had it on my list and 2 weeks ago I was so lucky to cross it off my bucketlist! Camptoo, the Airbnb for campers and mobile homes, asked me to take an oldtimer Volkswagen T2 for a little roadtrip.
What is Camptoo? It’s too easy to compare Camptoo with Airbnb but it’s really the best comparison to make. It basicely works like this; most mobile-home owners only use their ride half the time so it just sits there, in front of their garage. Camptoo makes it possible for those owners, to rent out their camper. Just look on their website and select the camper you want, for how long and which date. You get several options and all you need to do is to pick your favorite and send the owner a message. You will see if it’s available and if they accept your request.
After a quick check up, we were handed over the keys and headed on our little adventure.
Once accepted you will receive a confirmation email plus a text message. I picked the beautiful (and in a very good state!) Volkswagen T2 Van owned by Nicole from Limburg. Not really knowing what to expect, me and my family drove down to her house where Nicole explained everything we needed to know about her precious ride. Camptoo makes sure that you are all-risk insured and you pay a deposit to cover yourself for any damages along the way. Just make sure to have your travel insurance sorted. After a quick check up on damages and details, we were handed over the keys and headed on our little adventure.
I have a baby of 3,5 months old so I was a little nervous about sleeping in a van of course. What about the cold? Would the rain come inside? What if the van breaks down? All the motherly instincts you would expect, but as a true traveler, I needed to let some of these insecurities go and enjoy the ride. Literally.
The Route The first thing I noticed is that driving a car like this get’s a lot of attention. A lot. People waving, throwing up peace signs or giving you a thumbs up out of respect. Pretty cool. We decided to drive to The Ardennes, an area with hills and greenery and lot’s of adventurous roads. From Limburg we had about 2 more hours to go and we found this amazing camping online called Les Cabanes De Rensiwez. Here you can camp but also rent the most amazing lodges such as treehouses, Norwegian style cabins and hobbit-like-houses. Our campervan included a little kitchen with a stove so we could prepare dinner and make some tea. Very handy if you need to warm up! No camping adventure is complete without a little thunder storm and boy did we have one on the first night! It rained and rumbled for about 3 hours but it just made the whole experience even more special and cozy. TIP: Bring your own pillows for comfort and a (extra) warm sleeping bag as it get’s very cold at night even during summer. Many camper owners have blankets available but they can be too thin for your liking.
Yep, this is soo me!
A breakfast basket brought to our camper
The next we drove down to a special place called the Jan Foppen Forest. This is a small forest on top of a hill where you can do crazy survival stuff like abseiling, climbing, paragliding, horse riding and more. My boyfriend and his parents used to come here and group of friends book a weekend here to spend quality time. We just came to say hello and show off our amazing campervan of course ;-). It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re heading to the Ardennes. Check here for more info.
Our VolkswagenT2 at the Foppen Forest
On our last and final day we really got to drive through small towns where we stopped if we saw something nice such as a little Sunday market or a beautiful viewing point. We had to deliver the Van back to it’s owner in the early afternoon so we decided to sleep at a camping in Limburg, near the Belgian border. This camping was very modern and even had a swimming pool, restaurant and beautiful forest nearby to walk in.
We stopped at La Roche, a town visited by many cyclist
My Verdict A dream come true. honestly. Okok, I didn’t have a lot of sleep like I would have in a 5 star hotel but that’s not what camping is about. Camping and especially, camping in an oldtimer, is about the magic of it. The adventure without knowing where you will sleep the next day and to follow your own path. I’m so glad I did this as a family so I can tell my son about our little adventure when he’s older. I felt like a true nomad and how amazing that he was a part of it. Besides that, the whole thing was so well organized from beginning to the end.
Do you want to go on the same adventure? You can find the Volkswagen Van that I traveled in, here: camper/2553. Thinking about renting out your mobile home? Visit Camptoo’s website and check their Facebook & Instagram for inspiration!
We just got back from an amazing couple of days at Palm Springs and enjoyed Coachella 2017 to the max. With the festival weekend 1 gone, we can talk about some of the outfits and trends! Yes, Coachella girls and boys set new trends for this summer and what to wear this festival season. The traditional bohemian look has made a little comeback and we also seen metallic lingerie, classic denim and more. These were some of our favorite Coachella 2017 trends:
Trend » Metallic Lingerie Tops Heavy shizzle but if you can handle it, this is the must have piece for this summer! Jamie Kidd, Kendall Jenner wear it with grace
Hair Trend » Side knots Loving this playful hairstyle and thank god, it’s so easy to create!
Kenzas & Negin are rocking this trend
Trend » Denim The Coachella trend that never fails; Denim
Sarah with @sincerelyJules, Allesandra and Giaro
Trend » Big (very big) sunglasses We’re not too sure about this trend and maybe it’s just California that is rocking this trend but if we have to believe Coachella 2017, this might be it. Big sunglasses.
Source: Nicole Richie
Hair Trend » Color It Up! Yup, let’s get painting.
Kunna Haan @KUNAHAAN This girl is what Coachella is all about. She is the ultimate festival girl and what she wears, stands out. We’re also proud to say she’s Dutch! This year she rocked a long floral dress and a white piece. Uber cool.
Julie Sarinana aka @SINCERELYJULES We’ve been following this tropical girl for a couple of years now and she didn’t disappoint us at Coachella this year. Sarah got to meet her last weekend and we love how she sticks by her own style!
Jamie Kidd aka @JAMIENKIDD Wow, this girl is on fire! She’s a model (no shit) and a travel blogger. Cute as hell but she also has a great shape and she flaunts it in the right way. She really stood out this Coachella weekend and press took notice. You will find this picture on many platforms.
Yoga, meditations, massages, healthy food, a beautiful swimming pool, private sleeping cabins, an overwhelming tropical garden and super friendly staff. I haven’t even mentioned the comfortable big beds, the outside bathroom, and this all located close to the beach: Yoga retreat Desa Seni in Canggu is the perfect retreat to recharge.
After a super busy year and some private circumstances, I needed some time to relax. Bali is the perfect place for that since there are a lot of healthy spots and yoga retreats on the island. I was already in Canggu and I heard that Desa Seni is one of the best yoga retreats of Bali: they have the most experienced teachers, delicious fresh and healthy food, luxurious surroundings and a great service! That’s exactly what I needed.
I wasn’t a big yoga fan, but ever since I took some classes at Desa Seni I decided to continue to practice yoga in Amsterdam.
The retreat is located amid ancient rice terraces. You get a warm welcome when you arrive by the lovely women at the entrance desk of Desa Seni. Then a guided tour is waiting for you first before drinking a welcomes cocktail at the pool. The first thing you will notice is the relaxed and beautiful vibe of this retreat: The beautiful garden with colorful flowers, the big and comfortable sun bets and the stunning swimming pool was exactly what I was looking for. They seriously have thought about everything: mosquito spray, candles, incense, holiday cards to send out and a lot more.
You get to chill in a zen location for a few days where everything is included and that is what you want when you go to a retreat.
This Village Resort serves an eclectic Asian-Western cuisine with a focus on organic, healthy and fresh food. It has avegetarian menu where delicious fish and veggie dishes from the resort’s own organic gardens are waiting for you. The restaurant is open to the public for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The traditional wooden farmhouse The outside bathroom
Yoga Desa Seni’s daily Yoga program caters to all levels and offers a variety of yoga styles, open to the community and led by a qualified, dedicated, and passionate team of teachers. Apparently Desa Seni has the best yoga teachers on the island. A lot of people come here to take part of the 5 yoga classes they offer each day: From Kundalini Yoga and Hatha (the most reckon one) to Sunset Flow and Fly High Yoga. They might be a but heavier than in your own country, but it has also to do with the weather (you sweat a lot). The classes are super divers and you feel great when your done.
So what does it cost? Desa Seni offers a variety of accommodations, all of which are antique wooden houses with beautiful terraces, sitting areas and private modern outside bathrooms. The interior of each unique house has been re-furbished to provide all the modern comforts, while the exteriors have retained the integrity of rural village life. Check the prices here. Room Rates include: Gourmet Breakfast – Daily Yoga & Meditation Classes – Unlimited Drinking Water – Complimentary Wireless Internet – Daily Ceremonial Offering – DVD & Book Library.
Desa Seni Jl. Subak Sari No.13, Canggu, Bali Website
I am all for trying new things and when it comes to getting my skin smooth and ready for a holiday, I’m first in line. So when I got invited to try a Body Sugaring treatment, I thought it would involve eating something sweet because then hell yeah, count me in! Nope, this was a new waxing method and I was going to test it at Amsterdam based salon Sweet & Smooth.
The Sweet & Smooth salon is situated in Amsterdam West, near Mercatorsquare. This is somewhat surprising because you would expect that most award winning salons are based near the city center. Yes, you’ve read it correctly, Sweet & Smooth is award winning. It’s officially the best waxing salon of The Netherlands, voted by Treatwell customers. When entering the salon I noticed that it’s quite small and it doesn’t look like your typical beautysalon. Owner Nicoleta tells me: “I don’t like those hospital white walls and floors, I’m a retro kind of girl who likes jazz and authenticity.” She immediately makes me feel comfortable, something that is quite nice before you’re about to experience something rather unpleasant. Nicoleta explains that sugaring is already popular in Scandinavian countries as well as in Eastern Europe.
Proud and well deserved, Nicoleta with her award
So What Is Sugaring? Sugaring might be new to you but it’s an acient Egyptian beauty method used all over the world, including Europe. The natural ingredients (sugar and lime) are kind to your skin and less painful. The difference to waxing with strips is that the body sugaring paste will be applied against the direction of the hair growth, but the hair will be removed in thedirection of the hair growth. The result is that hair almost never breaks, it reduces ingrown hair. So back at my treatment. Nicoleta grabs a lump of warm sugar and twists and turns it before rubbing it onto my skin. She is using the same sugar for my entire treatment and adds some new sugar now and then to keep it warm and smooth. I’m realizing that this sugaring is quite sustainable as you don’t need any waxing strips and a lot of wax. That’s a bonus!
It’s not completely painless (let’s be real girls) but the Treatwell voters didn’t lie, it’s seriously a lot less painful than any other hair removal treatments I’ve experienced! And I have to admit that my skin feels all mighty soft without a trace of a rash. And even after a few days, my skin feels like it has had a much needed peel. This sugaring is definitely something I can get used to, especially when it’s time to wear that bikini again. This salon might be smaller and less luxurious than you might be used to, this treatment combined with Nicoleta’s comfortable service is definitely worth coming for.
Sweet & Smooth is available for bookings via Treatwell. Hondiusstraat 10HS, Amsterdam Website
As you might know, I’ve recently become a new mummy to a baby boy. I couldn’t imagine it any different now, but I have thought long about becoming a mom and this is why. Bringing a child on this earth is a beautiful thing but let’s be real here, it’s something we mainly do for our own happiness. I count myself guilty. There are enough people on this earth, too many in fact and this is a huge problem for the planet. I worry a lot about our planet because it doesn’t look good for the next generations and I want to leave my child with a healthy planet that he can be proud of. But yes, I did decided to have this baby so I want to teach him about the world so he can see all the beauty and hopefully contribute to a sustainable planet.
Sustainability You’ve guessed it, sustainability is extremely important to me. I’m a vegetarian (almost vegan), I shower in less than 5 minutes and organize events about climate change to inspire and educate the younger generation. Oh, and one day I’ll own a Tesla. (yes, I can keep the dream alive!) I’m also selective about the products I buy (boycotting palm oil is a daily struggle) and especially with a baby! It’s hard and often more expensive to remain sustainable at all times. This is when I came across the Greentom, a product that was going to be a huge part of my new life as a mother.
Greentom Greentom is a brand that has created a stroller recycled from plastic bottles. Dutch designer Bart Bost wanted to create the first truly honest stroller. It needed to be particularly practical and sustainable. Well, it has Elke written all over it. Buying baby stuff can be quite overwhelming let me tell you! With all the different brands from luxury-expensive-over the top to bad quality strollers out there, this was exactly what I was looking for. Greentom’s mission is to create 100% green products. The fabrics are entirely made out of recycled drinking bottles. They collect bottles all over the world. That limits the impact of shipping. It also means a stroller is made from natural and recycled sources nearby. And it stimulates local economies!
Walking around in the Amsterdam Vondelpark
Nature in nature
My Review I choose the 2-in-1 edition that most parents go for. Meaning; you use it flat for the first few months and once your child can sit up straight, you can change it into a reversible. Besides being sustainable, I think one of the best features is that it’s one of the lightest strollers out there at the moment. Light as a feather! You can easily turn it around with one hand or lift it when you need grab a few stairs. It also folds in real easy, so no need to stress when you need to get into your car. The wheels are not filled with air like most strollers so you need to be a little careful when you ride over a sidewalk, simply lift it up a little to avoid a full stop.
The 3 options to convert the Greentom
Always the eyecatcher
The stroller also comes with several extra’s that you can buy online. I also got myself the rain cover (need to have one if you live in The Netherlands!), and a car seat adapter. The organic fabrics come in many different colors so you can certainly find your favorite. I picked mint green and I get so many positive comments out on the street! (I’ve seriously gotten more comments on my GreenTom than on my outfits) It’s a true eye catcher and a great conversation maker, which I use to explain about the beauty of this product. And guess what, it’s very affordable too. You pay around 1200 euro for a stroller nowadays but the Greentom 2-in-1 is available from just €499,-! That includes the carrycot and reversible.
The GreenTom is one of those brands that is making planet earth a little better and I’m totally for it.
Getting your hair done and feeling guilt free is the new cool. The Building GreenDutch is the new sister of hair salon The Building and is now open!
Going Green At The Building GreenDutch they combine the love for our planet, hairdressing and styling business. When you enter this new spot, you will find that all the things you see are from Dutch origin. From the organic (stroop) waffles to the shampoo bottles. They swear by the oneliner: clean and green! They like to keep it local too and for this reason they only work with Keune, a traditional Dutch hairdressers brand with a green product: Pure, completely vegan-friendly and made from 100% pure plant extracts.
Step into our salon knowing that not only your hair looks great, but you have also contributed for a better and more beautiful world.
More than hair You can visit The Building GreenDutch for a wonderful coupe and stick around for traditional farm-fresh goodies, organic juices (made from fruits and vegetables from local farmers) or a good coffee. Prices vary from 55 euro for a ladies cut, to highlights and coloring starting from 70 euro.
Come to this special hair salon but let it be good for the environment, with a relaxed atmosphere.
The Building GreenDutch Haarlemmerdijk 156, Amsterdam T: 020 7371211 Website
Instagram. We love it. We love visually strong websites and blogs and Instagram instantly takes you to a moment. A picture really says a thousands words and these 5 Instagram accounts really prove that. We discovered some new amazing travel Instagram accounts this year that we think you will love.
1. @TARAMILKTEA With 580K followers, this Sydney based traveler is living it up. Her pictures are truly mesmerizing and she makes our jaw drop every time. Her specialty has to be Japanese style food. Lot’s of color which reminds you of the Harajuku style. All her food photo’s are so perfectly styled and ordered and it looks like she has spent hours on it. Fascinating. Besides her foodie pics, she does a pretty good job of visiting the most amazing places.
2. @POLABUR Originally from Russia, Polina calls Amsterdam her hometown now. We’ve actually met her a few times and she’s a lovely girl too! Besides traveling she posts the most incredible pictures with a slightly pink filter which makes it that extra special. From Moscow, to Austria, Australia and back to Amsterdam. This girl has been all over the world. She has a lot of Russian fans and her account grew rapidly over the last year.
At the Amsterdam Dam Square. @Polabur
3. @TRAVEL_INHERSHOES Her name is Aggie Lal and she is one talented girl! Her Instagram account is to die for but you should also check out her video’s that she is posting on her YouTube channel. It will make you want to pack your bags immediately. She describes herself as a Polish born, Australian educated, Los Angeles based adventure traveler, writer, blogger and photographer. Watch this girl.
4. @DOYOUTRAVEL Ok, time for some men in this list! Yes, this one is a good one and a real traveler. He’s probably one of the most re-grammed person when it comes to travel photo’s and no wonder that he’s made it to our top 5 travel Instagram accounts list. Jack Morris travels the world with his girlfriend (@gypsylust) who has a crazy beautiful Instagram account of her own. He lives on the road and visits a new country almost every week. Dream off to his photo’s and it’s OK to be jealous, we are too.
Jack’s girlfriend @gypsy_lust
5. @WEARETRAVELGIRLS Empowering indeed. This Instagram account features the most incredible pictures of women along their adventures and travels. Be inspired and get to know the women behind the photo’s. Who knows, you might get featured one day!
What began with a trip through India and across Asia, resulted in a beautiful pillow collection. Creative director Sanne Poot was decorating her house in Singapore when she came up with the idea. She couldn’t find any nice pillows that suited her new house so she decided to make her own. She got so many positive reactions on it, that she decided to start The Pillow Room.
It certainly helped that Sanne has a background in fashion. She used to work for fashion brand Love Stories. Her love for fashion and style really shows in her first pillow collection. All the pillows are handmade in India and each pillow takes around 8 hours to make. Sanne makes sure her pillows are created by carefully checked factories, so she makes sure that no child labour and bad conditions apply. This is one of her main objectives. “we visited all our factories to make sure nothing shady is going on, this is extremely important to us”
Loving this colorful design!
Some of the styles available online
Feeling tropical with pillow’s from The Pillow Room
There are pillow’s for everyone’s taste, from elegant and stylish to colorful The pillow’s are available in all 7 Bijenkorf stores, Anna & Nina, Six & Sons and Biggles plus some cute boutique stores throughout the Netherlands. Not around? No worries, you can buy them online from today onward! The pillow’s go from €29 to €89 depending on the size. We’re obsessed, no question!
When brands try to be innovative and sustainable at the same time, this is when you got our attention. O’Neill Footwear just launched a slipper that is made out of Palm leaves!
Don’t worry, no palmtrees are cut down for this. Have you heard of the Areca Palm? That is a palm tree which grows in the Southern part of India. Every year there are 80 million leaves falling down from it and nothing was ever done with it … until now ! Together with Tjeerd Veenhoven, a Dutch designer, O’Neill created these slippers with a good story. Tjeerd Veenhoven researches in sustainable and natural materials. He has already created paint of tulips, laminate from potato skins and textiles from algae. and now he was asked by O’Neill to check out the possibilities with palm leather.
The Slipper O’Neill created 2 slippers for women. One slipper with a toe strap called ‘ Chelsea ‘ and one sandal with cross strap under the name ‘ Sophie’ . The footbed and two straps are made of palm leaves. The beach footwear feels comfortable and yet, managed to look stylish. For this extra comfort they’ve used one small suede strap. The cool thing about these palm slippers are that each pair is unique and different in color and has other features, because it being a natural product and no palm leaf is the same!
Tree of Life Besides the ultimate surfer slipper, there is another reason to buy it. The fallen palm leaves picked up by local Indian workers where they are carefully selected for manufacturing. For each palm leaf they pick up, they get paid. This process improves the lives of many Indian people . Hence the name : The ” Tree of Life Project. The palm tree is now vital for the poorest communities , in a country where caste your position on the social ladder states . Who buys these slippers , supports the local Indian employees can now also take advantage of what nature provides.
I’m looking forward to wear my first pair of Palmtree Slippers as my order is on it’s way! They are available at MINT from the 28th of July.