100 things that make me happy

  1. Having a boyfriend that is thoughtful, listens to my complaining and still loves my sleepy face in the morning
  2. Waking up by a ray of sunshine peeking through the curtains
  3. Sleeping in freshly washed sheets
  4. Hearing the rain tickle the window
  5. Reading a book and not being able to stop
  6. Apple pie with vanilla ice cream
  7. Wearing a new pair of shoes for the first time
  8. Lighting candles and dimming the lights
  9. Seeing a shooting star

    c Chopsticksroad

  10. Sitting by the fire with friends and roasting a perfectly crisp marshmallow
  11. Children
  12. Making my grandma smile
  13. Trying new flavours of everything
  14. Celebrating my friends’ successes and steps in life and adulthood
  15. A glass of white wine on a Friday evening
  16. Arranging some freshly bought flowers
  17. Sipping my cup of tea at work first thing in the morning while going through my e-mails
  18. Getting that perfect ‘gram (@Belgenius)
  19. Learning new things
  20. Booking a trip and planning it
  21. Seeing the cats peek through our backyard window
  22. Opening a window of an advent calendar
    c Birten Pots
  23. Finding a cute note in my lunch box
  24. Putting away my winter coat
  25. Seeing the first signs of spring on the trees
  26. Spaghetti bolognese
  27. Getting an unexpected positive phone call
  28. Reading a good poem
  29. Going out for a spontaneous ice cream after work
  30. Standing up for someone on the bus or tram and getting a huge ‘thank you’
  31. Finding a song that fits my mood perfectly and playing it on repeat
  32. Karaoke in the car
  33. Catching the train by a few seconds
  34. Defrosting my hands at home after going through snowy weather
  35. Singing
  36. Getting a nice comment on one of my blog posts

    c Marisa Morea

  37. Going to a museum and (sometimes) not understanding what the hell I’m looking at
  38. Getting unexpected letters or messages from family and friends abroad
  39. Helping my family
  40. Hosting people and putting together a feast
  41. White chocolate pralines (manonkes)
  42. Doing yoga and not tumbling over
  43. The smell of freshly cut grass
  44. Having a day off to do absolutely nothing
  45. Eating breakfast on the train together
  46. Picknicks
  47. Reading the paper – makes me feel really adult and all that
  48. Buying new make-up that I’ve been dying to try
  49. Taking a bath with a gorgeous Lush bath bomb
  50. Spontaneously dancing to Norah Jones
  51. Irish music
    c Julianna Swaney
  52. Drinking cocktails on hot summer evenings
  53. Painting my toe nails metallic blue
  54. Going to the sauna
  55. Making lists (ha!)
  56. Watching a super cheesy romantic movie (I’ve seen Love Actually 10 times)
  57. Huge cacti
  58. The smell (and taste) of roasted vegetables with thyme and rosemary
  59. Buying presents for people
  60. Feeling the sand between my toes
  61. Sunsets
  62. Forest walks
  63. Learning a new language and having other people actually understand what I’m saying
  64. Wearing a perfectly matched outfit
  65. Photo albums
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  66. Feeling my skin after a face mask
  67. Watching a documentary and feeling really intelligent
  68. Illustrations that can portray a feeling in one image
  69. Seeing people being nice to other people
  70. Street musicians
  71. Finding second hand gems
  72. Spotting rainbows
  73. Dressing up for special occasions
  74. Scandinavian things
  75. Going to performances (stand-up comedy, theatre, music)
  76. Baking cake or cookies
  77. Hiking somewhere and finding it the worst and then loving it too
  78. Floors with cool motives
  79. Not watching the clock and forgetting about time
  80. The seaside
    c Vincent Mahé
  81. Palm trees – and exotic looking plants or places in general
  82. Greenhouses
  83. Visiting book shops
  84. Filling out my paper diary with my own colour coding
  85. Hedgehogs
  86. Going out for coffee on a Sunday afternoon
  87. Brussels
  88. The art deco houses in the streets
  89. Holding hands
  90. Sharing
  91. Long and floaty summer dresses
  92. Not setting an alarm
  93. Putting sunscreen on someone’s back as a smiley face
  94. Buying strawberries
  95. Sitting on a blanket in the park watching the clouds and people pass by
  96. Getting my hair cut
  97. Big windows
  98. Seeing people blow out birthday candles
  99. Hugging someone after a long time
  100. Getting the mail from the mail box

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Wanneer er niet genoeg binnen aan een huis is

Ik zat vandaag op de trein. Lekker warm. Want buiten was het één van de koudste dagen van deze winter. Temperaturen onder nul. We glijden voorbij de achterzijden van de eerste Brusselse huizen. Eens Brussel binnengekomen zie ik iets vreemds.  Een waslijn met een horde aan gekleurde t-shirts. Gek, denk ik, om bij deze temperaturen je was te drogen te hangen.  Elke t-shirt wordt een statisch en stijve vlag in de wind die weigert te wapperen. Dan zie ik het. Een vierkanten constructie. Een bijeenraapsel van dozen en plastiek. Vier muren en een dak.

Nu weet ik waarom. Wanneer er niet genoeg binnen aan een huis is moet het buiten. De was buiten. De koude binnen. De deur altijd open. Was het buiten maar warm en binnen koud. De wereld binnenstebuiten gekeerd als een warme trui met fleece binnenin. Dan was er plaats genoeg, en iedereen in de huislijke warmte, altijd en overal.

Ana Frois
© Ana Frois

Why I Blog

People often don’t know I  have this blog. It’s only when I tell them or when they see my posts through social media that they know. It seems weird to me, seeing as to me it’s a relatively big part of my daily life. I’m always surprised the word “hobby blogger” isn’t written on my forehead somehow. But anyways, I love to blog and here’s why.

Firstly, writing is my number one creative outlet. I love to juggle with words and to carefully consider what to put where. I love that you can rearrange and change your mind. My blog is a space that allows me te be or do whatever I want to. It could be poetry one day, it can be a lifestyle or fashion related items the next. My mood constantly changes and I thoroughly enjoy that my blog can change with me.

Secondly, it’s a fantastic way to look back on things. Sometimes when I’m not really feeling it, I scroll through my own Instagram and blog and think: wow, I’ve done so much in the past few months or years. I’m always stunned at how many good moments there have been. It’s a great way to keep those memories safely stowed and always at hand to cheer me up.

Finally, this blog gives me a platform to straighten my thoughts, to make lists, to get out there what I feel needs to be heard or simply be said, whether it’s being read or not. It’s how I structure the dreamy, emotional and creative part of my brain. What’s even better is that this part gets to interact with people; there’s nothing more fun than seeing someone like or reblog a post and reply to comments. It’s the best feeling to see that a blog post doesn’t just end with the reader, it’s only the starting point of a discussion.

So, that’s why I blog. No matter the time or effort, I’m determined to keep this blog going and I’m excited to see how it evolves as I grow.

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© Lotta from Stockholm

January ’18

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I rediscovered the fun in reading and am absolutely loving reading everywhere and anytime I can
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This bargain of a dress. Read about it here.
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Saw Alt-J live in concert in Vorst
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I won the bean in the Three Kings’ Cake ( a celebration on the 6th of January)
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Went to Brussels Jazz Festival at Flagey
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Ate pasteis de nata at Forcado
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Brought together a bunch of artists for a work project and had an inspiring and productive brainstorm
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Made some healthy breakfast cookies. Find the recipe here.
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My boyfriend opened a one evening restaurant just for me
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Brussels by night
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Visited the Engelenburcht for work
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Played Scrabble on a cold Sunday
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Some colour in the morning
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Chandeliers on a regular week day
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Made a refreshing walk in the park

My 6 favourite apps

    1. Pinterest

      I like to get inspired by looking atillustrations, fashion outfits, DIY tricks, last make-up trends and dreamy interiors on Pinterest. There’s nothing I like more than creating a board that hold everything I want my future house to look like or making up lists of things that I feel are missing from my closet or make-up collection. I feel like it’s the app that allow you to dream.

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    2. Goodreads
      As a book lover and list maker this app is a dream come true. It allows you to divide your book world in 3 different categories: Want to read ( a very long list), Have read, and Currently reading. I love this, because when I’ve finished a book, I can just check my ‘Want to read’ list and choose one that fits my mood. It’s also great to get inspired by friends and family because you can follow them and see what they’re reading and loving.

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    3. LaLaLab

      I  discovered this app a few years ago and have been using it every since. The app allows you to print photo’s and polaroids, make albums and wall decorations, but what I use the app most for is to send postcards! Whenever I’m travelling, I know my friends and family love a good old-fashioned post card, but I absolutely hate the hassle of buying the card, find stamps somewhere, finding a mail box, etcetera, etcetera. By the time you’ve done all that, you no longer feel like writing a long, elaborate description on the card and all it will say is “Sunny greetings”. No, this method is absolutely hassle-free: you pick a photo on your phone (so it’s personalised!), you add the text, add the address and your credit details and for only 2 euros, the card is sent. And the good news is, it only takes a little less than a week to get to its destination.

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    4. Calm

      Whenever I’m on the train or tram and  I’m too tired to read or I want to decompress from work, I get out the Calm app. It’s a meditation app that allows medidation from 3 minutes up to half an hour. So really, it doesn’t take up much time and it can make a world of difference in your mindset. You can choose different sounds and background that you find relaxing.

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    5. KBC mobile

      When it comes to financial organisation, I like doing things quick and efficiently. It’s how I pay all our bills. This app (or any other bank’s app, probably) helps do just that! It’s also really handy when you’re in store somewhere and you realise you don’t have enough money on your account and you can transfer money while you’re waiting in line. Aaah, the ease.

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    6. Yelp

      I find it really hard in a new city or country to know where the good places are to have a bite to eat or have a good piece of pie (you know me), but this app usually manages to find exactly what I’m looking for. The photo’s and ratings by other people are really handy to know what kind of place you’ve got on your hands. I know most people sometimes use a travel guide or tips and tricks from TripAdvisor or friends and family, but this app is really handy when you’re hungry RIGHT NOW, and you don’t want to be taking a bus across town, because it works with gps. Can you tell I get hangry sometimes? :) Foursquare is a good alternative too.

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Happy singing

The shameless singing of the man putting away his bike makes me cheerful. I smile as I walk by because when is anyone ever not conscious of what others think? I sure am not a lot of the time. He is completely unaware of his surroundings, of the funny looks he’s given, of the questions people ask. He is in the moment. And I love it. To do what you love and enjoy without external judgment. Or perhaps with external judgement but without paying any attention to it and saving energy for happier thoughts. I admire you, big bellowing man. I am in envy of how you just don’t give a damn. I wish more people would be like you. Including me.

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© Mikyo Noh