Archives for December 2014

The Year 2014

The year 2014 has been one of the most challenging years in my life, if not the most challenging. 2014 was a year of pure bliss (in between writing my thesis and finding a proper job), new beginnings and sad endings. It’s always nice to look back at the year and everything that has happened, so I thought I’d sum up this year in a couple of photos. Here’s what the year 2014 looked like through my eyes!

January 

I loved every moment of this month. I had the most perfect New Year’s Eve with a lovely dinner at my parent’s place with some of my dearest friends from home. The food was amazing, everyone was dressed so pretty and chic, we chatted away the entire evening and danced in the living room to celebrate a new and exciting year. I spent the rest of the month doing an internship at a lifestyle magazine here in the Netherlands with some of the most lovely interns friends I’ve ever met. In short, it was a lovely (and slightly cold and rainy) month.

February and March

If January was one of the best months of the year, February and March have to be the worst two months this year. I got my whole heart broken and I have to admit, I felt quite terrible and sad for a while. And to top it all off, my sister left at the end of February to travel for a few months with her closest friend. She was dreaming of travelling for ages and I was so happy for her that day finally arrived, but I also knew I would miss her a lot. We’re very close and share everything together so it was quite sad to say goodbye to her at the airport (although she was very excited and happy to hop on the plane so there were mostly tears on my end). February was definitely a month of saying goodbye, since it was also the last month of my internship at Flair magazine.

April and May

Spring finally arrived (I always love this time of year – hello peonies, lovely picnics and days spent at the beach) and I felt a lot better and happier than the months before. In May, I visited Verona and Venice together with my mum. We spent a week enjoying these amazing places with lots of tasty food, warm atmosphere and pretty sightings. I fell in love with the balcony where Juliet stood while Romeo declared his love and all the gorgeous Italian courtyards.

A homemade life Verona

A homemade life Verona

A homemade life Verona

June and July

June was one of the best months this year! I celebrated my birthday by organizing a birthday high tea for the loveliest people I know. It actually felt okay to turn a year older since I had accomplished quite a lot of things that I was happy about, but no one likes getting older, right? I chose to ignore those feelings by spending lots of time with dear friends and visiting Copenhagen for the first time (and definitely not the last time!).

To top it all off, my sister arrived back home the day of my graduation and I could not be happier! It was a blissful day spent with family in the lovely city of Amsterdam.

A homemade life birthday high tea 3

August and September

In August, I visited Paris. It felt so nice to escape my own city for a while to a place where everything looks so idyllic and fairytale-like. I felt so incredibly happy to be in this amazing city again. And since I have a terrible sweet tooth, I stopped by Maison Ladurée to enjoy some macarons and other French pastries. I also got the chance to visit the Louvre, Le Marais and Jardin du Luxembourg, the best places in Paris if you ask me!

For the first time ever I visited New York in September. Not only did I get the chance to visit this place that I’ve been dreaming about forever, I also got to meet some very inspiring people. Days spent sightseeing this lively city, eating way too many cupcakes and enjoying every moment was the best thing I could ever have wished for!

a homemade life laduree

a homemade life maison laduree

a homemade life paris louvre

A homemade life New York Ladurée

A homemade life

A homemade life New York

October and November

Fall finally arrived during the month of October and I got to experience the gorgeous autumn colours in my city. I loved seeing Maastricht, Utrecht and Amsterdam covered in yellow, orange and red tones and could never keep my camera in my bag for too long.

I was invited to a lovely little baby shower, spent a nice evening with my darling Charlotte at a cozy place called Olivier, went to dinner parties organized by some of my friends in Amsterdam, visited Antwerp together with my mum and sister, enjoyed way too many glasses of wine with one of my friends at the adorable Spanish dinner place called Pata Negra in Amsterdam, visited the cozy Country & Christmas Fair in Haarzuilens to shop for Christmas presents, drink mulled wine and enjoy tasty sweets and lots more.

A homemade life

A homemade life The Year 2014

A homemade life Weekend Reading

December

I always love December. It’s that time of year when you enjoy cold, cozy nights with warm blankets and hot chocolate, pretty snowflakes and celebrate the holidays with your loved ones (and lots of Harry Potter books). That is exactly what I did. Oh, and I went to Paris for a cozy winter photoshoot with the lovely (and incredibly gifted) photographer Katie Mitchell.

I also spent a lovely weekend together with my family in a lovely villa in Domburg (a small and picturesque town in the Netherlands) where we ate lots and lots of chocolate and other tasty sweets. It’s always nice to spend time with your loved ones and unwind for a little bit. For me, it was definitely a December to remember!

A homemade life Paris 3

A homemade life Paris 8

A homemade life Paris 3

A homemade life Paris 5

 

December in Instagrams

December in Instagrams

Oh how I love December! This has to be one of the best months this year – if not the best month. It’s the last chapter of the book of 2014 and it’s been an exciting and happy one! The first weekend of December, I took the Thalys to Paris where I stayed for a blissful and lovely weekend, to do some Christmas shopping, photograph every cute corner (and there are a lot of lovely corners and courtyards in Paris!) and as the icing on the cake, I did a lovely winter photoshoot with photographer Katie Mitchell. It’s safe to say it was one of the loveliest weekends in 2014.

The second weekend of December I visited Domburg for the weekend with my loved ones. Days spent shopping for Christmas dresses, drinking mulled wine on cold winter evenings and simply enjoying time with my family. And to top it all off, I got some very exciting news! I’ll will be an intern at L’Oréal and I am so happy and almost can’t wait for this internship to begin!

Wishing you all a happy day! xx

Things I Learned In 2014

A homemade life

Photo by Katie Mitchell

 

The year of 2014 is not over yet – only two days! – but here are a few things I learned in the past year. One of the things I learned this year was to stand on my own and to enjoy it. Whether it was travelling by myself to Copenhagen, Paris and New York, mastering the art of dining solo at a restaurant or settling into a new city where I didn’t know anyone, I loved being able to do those things by myself and having a blissful time while doing it.

I have to admit, hopping on a plane to New York was both exciting and terrifying at the same time. What if something happens? What if I lose my suitcase? However, it was more than worth it. Even though, travelling solo can be challenging as it requires a lot of time on your own and a perfect sense of reliance on yourself to solve problems you experience along the way. Thanks to my solo travels, I became more confident, independent and I started to appreciate the little things. Eating croissants from the local bakery, photographing every single street and meeting some very inspiring and warm people. That being said, spending a vacation with some of your best friends can be pure bliss as well! When I think of the vacations I enjoyed with my friends, it brings back a big smile on my face. Oh, the things we did..

To do at least once a year. Go to a place I have never been before. Whether it is a city, a beach, a bakery or a museum. I think it can be quite exciting to visit new places and get inspired. So, where will I go next year? I wonder..

If you give up too soon, you will never know what you will be missing. Have the nerve to change your life, keep going and never quit. Think of this: If J.K. Rowling stopped after being turned down by several publishers for years, there would be no Harry Potter. If Howard Schultz gave up after being turned down by banks many, many times, there would be no Starbucks.

Do not compare your beginning to someone else’s middle is something I learned this year and for me, it was a true eye-opener. I tend to always always compare my life to other people and their lives. Then I realized I could not win if I compared myself to others so I decided it was time to compare myself to myself.

Another thing I learned to do this past year is this: Doing something every day that will inch me closer to a better tomorrow. Design a life I love, by my own standards. For me, that is making travel plans (California, Capri and Bali are on top my travel list), improving my blog and pursuing the career I always wanted.

A lot can happen in a year and I can’t wait what 2015 will bring!

Weekend Reading

A homemade life Weekend Reading

  • As the year is coming to an end, I’ve been reflecting on everything that has happened in 2014. In this blog post you’ll find fifty questions to help you reflect on different aspects of the past year. The second half of December is the perfect time to look back on everything I have discovered and achieved during the last twelve months.
  • Sara Donaldson, the talented blogger behind Harper & Harley, shares her best tip on how to get that glow. Her tip? Mix a moisturizer/primer with a foundation and illuminator all together and apply it to the skin. Your foundation is kept quite light but you will get that moisture boost and a glowing skin from the illuminator. Do you want it to last a little longer? Lightly set it with a translucent powder.
  • Here are five ways to make someone feel special and loved, whether it’s a family member, a colleague or a neighbor.
  • Into the Gloss shares her beginner’s guide to ordering wine. Achieving any sort of mastery in wine tasting takes a lot of practice (and a few glasses of wine as well I suppose..). Here’s a simple guide to what’s what, just in time for the holidays. Cheers!
  • 29 things to remember for the New Year. The best thing to remember? Choose a narrow path. Dare to be different than others and aim for the moon.

Happy Holidays

A homemade life Happy Holidays

It’s almost Christmas Eve so it’s time for me to take some time off and enjoy the holidays with my loved ones. I’m enjoying a little stay cation here at my parents’ place. There’s something so comfortable about being home at my parents’ place. I still feel like a little girl when I’m here, sitting by the fire, listening to Christmas songs (All I Want For Christmas is my absolute favourite – my dad doesn’t agree though) and eating my mom’s baked goods. I’ll be taking a few days off, but you can still follow me on Instagram.

I’d like to say thank you for a lovely year of inspiration and bliss, for your kind and sweets comments and for inspiring me to share on this blog. Merry Christmas everyone!

Love, Monika

My First Photoshoot in Paris

It’s a magical December. December has always been the best month of the year if you ask me and this year it was a little bit extra special. Why, you might ask? Well, I got the chance to do a winter photoshoot in the magnificent city of Paris with the sweet (and incredibly gifted) Katie Mitchell. This talented Australian photographer is one of the most brilliant photographers I have come across. She’s fun-loving and lovely as well as professional and encouraging.

Being a bit camera shy (I prefer to take photos of others instead of letting people take photos of me as I always think I am the opposite of photogenic), she made me feel so comfortable in front of the camera. It was a very enjoyable and special morning for me, since I always wanted to do a photoshoot in Paris in December. It was one of those things I wanted to do for myself for quite some time and I’m so happy I finally did it! My weekend getaway in Paris was simply perfect and the morning shoot with Katie was certainly the cherry on the cake.

Tip: If you find yourself in Paris, the first thing you should do is to book a photoshoot with this lovely lady. I promise it’ll make your stay in the City of Lights even more special!

A homemade life

A homemade life Paris Photoshoot

A homemade life Photoshoot Paris

A homemade life

A homemade life Photoshoot in Paris

Scarf by SheRebel
Poncho by Sessùn
Cardigan by Bellerose
Jeans by Tommy Hilfiger
Shoes by Fred de la Bretonière

Photos by Katie Mitchell.