Be brave…

Be brave...


Not using my phone for something much more vital

It is no secret that I am addicted to my mobile phone. And although I have been trying to work on my addiction nothing has worked so far. But I think…I think I found the perfect rehab; the Unicef Tap Project. UNICEF-TAP-PROJECT-phone-2014

A special app developed by Unicef that runs in the background and measures when my phone goes idle. So you can still send me message – I just cannot respond to them. Because if my phone stays idle for 10 mintues donors like Giorgio Armani will give money to UNICEF. Not using my phone for even such a short amount of time equals one day of clean drink water for a child that normally doesn’t have access to this luxury.

Because where as I am thinking that I cannot live without my phone, over 768 million people are living without access to clean water. And I am well aware that this is a much more important resource than my iPhone. Water scarcity already affects nearly 40% of the world’s population and is predicted to become an even larger problem in the upcoming years.

So if I can only contribute a little by not using my phone I am more than happy to do so. And I really think so should you! Go to on your phone and join! The Tap Project App is working until the 31st of March. So let’s call each other on  the first of April…no joke!


Great minds think alike – friendship

Schermafbeelding 2013-12-24 om 14.29.10You have met my friend Willem during one of his guest posts earlier this year. But as he is one of my closest friends and we share practically all our stories together. We decided to share some of them with you, after all it is Christmas and at Christmas you tell the truth.

To be clear: This is Willem and this is Me. 

Ok so here it goes. 2013 was not our best year. The least to say. So to get all the drama out of the way let’s start with the rock bottom moment. After this there clearly is only one way; up. Rock bottom happened on the other side of the ocean, whilst looking for happiness with my girlfriend at Aruba. I actually found myself in a place I didn’t expect myself to be at all. After many years – eight something to be more specific – it turned out that our love wasn’t working anymore. We tried everything, but in the end we decided both to go our own ways. I spent one year in the Caribbean, one year at the most beautiful spot in the world, but I needed to go where I wanted and needed to be the most at that time; family. So east, west, home bound best.  Your rock-bottom was actually one of my high lights! Because you coming back to the Netherlands after we have been separated for two years  – I spent the year in Barcelona before Willem moved to Aruba – actually meant a real-life drinking buddy 😉 and a close-by friend. I mean whatsapp is nice and all, but there goes nothing about a good old fashioned hug. But I cannot count the numerous of parties we got drunk at this year. We had a blast and not only because we were drunk. But also because we have this funny thing  in common. We both tend to take of our clothes when we get drunk. Where it is my t-shirt it is your jeans that come off. 

Hohoho (yes, feel the Christmas spirit) you are going way too fast. Don’t pretend that you haven’t hit rock-bottom this year. True, but as my loves tend to last 8 minutes instead of 8 years my “low” was more career related. When my organization made me redundant this summer I felt like such a loser. I mean I studied for five years and always believed that I would have a booming career. So spending an entire summer at home – even though weather wise it was the best summer in years- not knowing what I  was going to do with my life made me feel useless. From always being busy to being a suntanned unemployed 20 something girl was definitely the worst about 2013. But as every down has it up I got plenty of time to enjoy summer. Remember all the fun things we have done?? Amsterdam, festivals, festivals in Amsterdam, living in the now and certainly no plans for tomorrow. But summer ended and like an unwanted rain storm fall appeared. 

Fall. Surrounded by friends and family I felt at ease, it took me quite a while. And I am still not there – but I am getting there. I am making plans, got ideas and I feel like I am back on track. I know your family is one of the reasons why you wanted to be home again. How did you feel when you were reunited? It was right on time. The support of my mom, dad, grandma (yes the lovely lady of the first post) brothers & sisters, little cousins and my friends is what I am appreciating most right now. I believe that since I have been away our relationship has been much stronger than it was before. We bonded and the distance actually made us closer. We are a real family again and we do fun stuff together; dinners, cinema’s, festivals, holidays. We are making life worth living. So I am not saying that I would never leave again, but it would be with a different mind set than the last time. 

summer2013So when I would ask you to move to Africa tomorrow you would say no?! Yes. Ok, this is something I would like to get of my chest. I know and you know. Our love is unconditional, but we are just very close friends. Yes, we have kissed…once…in 1995 at the playground, by accident. Practically all my girl friends asked me, told me or insinuated that we would be a very cute couple. True, you are my type; tall, dark, handsome and the occasional tattoo. But your friendship is way too much appreciated to risk it for romance. Great, happy that this rumor is killed. But back to business. Any highlights you would like to share? Highlights, besides all the fun I had with my friends and family there are 3 things that made me grow as a person, and thus count as personal highlight. First, moving in with Will (my brother) and Grace (Jordy) at the pearl of Amsterdam (yes the official name of our apartment). This is the first place that feels like home after moving out my parents place over 10 years ago. Second, meeting my coach that supported me during my rock bottom period. She helped me find my core values that are keeping me motivated right now. Third, my trip to Rwanda. I spent six weeks in an amazing country, with amazing people and broadened my horizon in so many ways.

Oh wait I am forgetting something; our quest for eternal love. Shaped in the form of Tinder and the Inner Circle. Haha no I am just kidding. But you are the one I turn to when I am dealing with boy “trouble”, so I do want to thank you for all the valuable feedback. And yes for all my 8 minute crushes (all 2 of them) if I screwed up it is because Willem told me to do so. Or as we would like to call it Sukkel voor de liefde, koning in de discotheek. One of my favorite songs of this year. I am living for my music, but this song is very recognizable; it sums up the majority of this years emotions in 3.01 minutes. The list of my favorites songs tells you more about me than I will ever do so myself. My favorite artist at the moment is the one you introduced to me; Sam Smith. Very recognizable as well, Especially “Money on my mind” check it out below. He sings: I don’t have money on my mind I do it for the love. Is this your 2014 motto? It certainly is. Yours? I always have money on my mind. So I beg to differ. No just kidding, love is all I got for next year! 

To wrap it up – yes, I think we have shared enough of our little world for now – do you have anything you would like to share for 2014? Or give a shout out to a special someone? A special shout out to my grandmother, sowieso! 2014: Ik zie het leven door de vingers. Laat het zo nu en dan vieren en ga verder. Also my new job, falling in love (yes yes Iceberg right ahead) and lots  of music, festivals and music festivals ;). My shout out goes to my favorite DJ of this year; De Sluwe Vos. He made me feel like a queen on the dance floor. Just like Cyusa did in Africa. And for 2014 I am predicting unicorns, golden flowers and rainbows. For the holidays I am wishing you joy, lots of hugs from your family and even more presents. Merry Christmas and a happy 2014!

Als ik later klein ben

Willem, one of my best friends, big brother, my Hitch when it comes to boys and very important to know for the ladies he still checks the box single. Today I am posting one of is stories. Even though it is in Dutch I cannot not share it with you. It is sincere, filled with love and extremely recognizable if you are about to hit the wrong side of your 20ies.


Zeker weten;
Willem en oma Rietje is bang. De zestiende van november negentienhonderd éénentwintig kwam ze op deze wereld. Mijn oma is bang om oud (!) te worden, doodsbang. Vanmiddag zag ik haar voor het eerst huilen. Onze tweede moeder die jarenlang bij ons in huis woonde, toen de wereld voor mij nog niet veel verder reikte dan de achtertuin, vanwege het feit dat mijn vader een zeer lang ziekbed heeft gekend en moeders voltijd werkte. Weende ze omdat ze op deze schijnende herfstdag met twee van haar drie trotse kleinkinderen op het terras tomatensap aan het drinken was, uiteraard met verse peper, met een buiten proportionele punt appelgebak in het vooruitzicht. Dat is namelijk wat je hoort te doen met grootouders, appelgebak eten. Of was het toch dat besef dat ze sinds kort niet meer zonder rolstoel langere afstanden kan afleggen. Ze vroeg om een zakdoekje. Hield onze handen kort, hard vast.

 Je hebt dus een ietwat hectisch en besproken, doch kort leven achter je liggen kijkend naar mijn grootmoeder die snel haar 93ste levensjaar in zal inluiden. Het leven gewoon nemen, ondergaan, accepteren. However you want to call it. Dat is iets wat haast niet meer te doen is voor deze twijfel-generatie. We twijfelen massaal. Welke helse vakantie te boeken voor volgende zomer, 14 verschillende soorten yoghurtdrank in de schappen, het effen shirt of toch met all-over print en laten we het maar helemaal niet over de verkiezingstijd gaan hebben. Vlak voor aanschaf toch nog dat vergelijkend warenonderzoek checken om de boel weer overhoop te donderen. Besluiteloosheid…de moord!

Je kunt niet alles controleren en dat hoeft ook niet. Klinkt als een suffe blauwe tekst op het toilet. Ook al zo’n aangename plek bij uitstek om te gaan twijfelen. Bovenaan mijn curriculum vitae kan beroepstwijfelaar gezet worden inclusief uitroepteken. We zijn een bed geworden van 120 centimeter breed.

Teveel keus, zo verklaart oma het. Zogezegd zonder twijfel! Wat een onmisbaar leven, het geheel meemakend. Duitse soldaten marcherend door de straat, maanwandelaars Aldrin & Buzz, fokking de hele rise, fall, comeback & fall van ene Elvis Aaron Presley, het miljarden medium genaamd…. (tromgeroffel) televisie! Kalm is wat ze blijft. Uitproberen te leggen aan een vrouw die al 26 jaar 65+ korting krijgt dat ze niet bang hoeft te zijn voor de tijd. Dat ze geduld moet hebben en de tijd mag nemen. Het gaat simpelweg niet en dat weet je allebei, dus wordt het voor heel even treurig stil.

Later als ik klein ben. Dankjewel lieve oma voor het wegnemen van een paar procent twijfel.


Fuck im in my twenties

Fuck im in my twentiesA very interesting and realistic book by Emma Koenig, based on the popular blog The book explains  the anxieties and breakdowns of our early 20s with illustrations, graphs, lists, and plenty of f-bombs. A must read if your are in your twenties. It will give you clear insights like the above self-explantory image. It will all become clear to you what is like to deal with your quarterly life crisis!


Hedof – good times, bad times

Hedof poster_webHedof, if you have never heard the name then I suggest to remember it for the future. Because I am sure you will run into one of his great pieces of graphic art sooner than later. If you haven’t already done so without knowing it.

Rick Berkelmans, the artist behind Hedof, and not so coincidentally also my cousin, is one of my favourite artists because his works are bright of colour, full of subtle humour and always make you look at least twice before your realise what you are looking at.

This week Rick launched his new website So check out some of his work that he has done for, I must admit, amazing clients like Heineken, Red Bull, Sony Playstation, Lipton Tea, Red Cross and many more.

Oh and consider yourself lucky! He is throwing in free shipping across Europe this week to celebrate the launch of the new website. You’d better hurry to the webshop and get yourself a real Hedof while they are still affordable!

But before shopping check out this video of Rick talking about his work and find out how difficult the word enthusiasm is.

You can follow Rick on Facebook if you want to stay up to date on his booming career.