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.

18248b639c263abd94f31fea3cda8c74.jpg
© Lotta from Stockholm

January ’18

screen-shot-2018-01-28-at-17-24-31.png
I rediscovered the fun in reading and am absolutely loving reading everywhere and anytime I can
Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 17.25.22
This bargain of a dress. Read about it here.
Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 17.25.03
Saw Alt-J live in concert in Vorst
Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 17.25.14
I won the bean in the Three Kings’ Cake ( a celebration on the 6th of January)
Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 17.24.38
Went to Brussels Jazz Festival at Flagey
Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 17.24.56
Ate pasteis de nata at Forcado
Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 17.24.20
Brought together a bunch of artists for a work project and had an inspiring and productive brainstorm
Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 17.24.47
Made some healthy breakfast cookies. Find the recipe here.
IMG_20180117_185720.jpg
My boyfriend opened a one evening restaurant just for me
IMG_20180118_203706
Brussels by night
IMG_20180125_130252
Visited the Engelenburcht for work
IMG_20180121_153012
Played Scrabble on a cold Sunday
Screen Shot 2018-02-03 at 17.11.25.png
Some colour in the morning
Screen Shot 2018-02-03 at 17.11.35.png
Chandeliers on a regular week day
Screen Shot 2018-02-03 at 17.11.44
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.

      pinterest-icon

    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.

      goodreads-logo.png

    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.

      unnamed

    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.

      calm-icon

    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.

      1024x1024sr

    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.

      5540543936_423e37dae4_b

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.

Screen Shot 2018-01-20 at 16.59.52.png
© Mikyo Noh

5 tips to increase your productivity

  1. Clean house, clean mind

I believe that a clean and well organised house can give you not only more living space but space to think and be creative. Whether that is literally or figuratively speaking. For example, I swear by making the bed each morning, because it gives me a sense of peace. It marks the start of the day and it marks the end, when I get to dive into the cozy sheets of the neatly made bed. It’s only one of the examples of how a visual manifestation of neatness eases the mind. Trust me, it works. If you are not thinking about not having made the bed or some other household task, you will have room to think about something else, something more productive.

2. Breathe

Whether it’s a breakfast with a cup of tea or with a 5 minute meditation session (Calm is a really good app for this) on the train or during break at work, it’s important to breathe… It sounds straightforward, but it’s easier to forget than you’d think and it has a great influence on lots of other things, like your productivity.

3. Take a break

We all know the importance of a break to increase productivity, whether it’s from studying or work, but I’m mentioning it anyways to stress the importance of actually taking a break during your break. Not just for food, not just by being on your phone for a couple of minutes. Talk to someone, go for lunch with someone that isn’t from work, read a book, take a walk, do some sports, listen to some music,… the options are endless. Sometimes it’s better to take 5 minutes extra and get going afterwards than to stay at your desk and do half of what you could’ve done. Simple, right?

4. Get the overview

As a professional list-maker and organisation enthusiast, this one is easy for me. I like the colour-coding, the to do lists, the post-it notes and ticking off boxes. It’s doesn’t have to be that complicated though, just jotting down your thoughts can be a simple way to get some perspective. It’s easier to discern priorities if they’re put to paper and not floating around in your brain somewhere.

5. Make it fun

Whether it’s a grumpy cat notebook or photos from your family on your desk, it’s important to make the space you work in feel a little bit homey. You’ll be a lot more creative if you actually enjoy your working space.

c7f72e0a262c3a3cda30a823c07f7b0d