January highlights.

Hi all,

At the beginning of each month, I like to hit “pause”, step back and reflect on the one that has just past. I am sorry for this long overdue post about my January highlights… I started writing it in the beginning of February but then life got in the way and time just went by in a blink of an eye.

Anyway, let’s just get to it.

In my opinion, carving out time to reflect on our achievements (as well as struggles) it is very important for our personal growth. I feel like when I am introspective, my self-awareness and sense of gratitude increase and, as a result, I can better tackle challenges that might come my way head on. This being said, I think everyone should take some time to reflect on what they’ve achieved and experienced every month.

No matter how hectic life might be, we are all worth some time for. 

So about January.. I feel very humbled and grateful for all the happy moments and all the “firsts” I got to experience. Naturally, not everything was wonderful (I mean, is it ever is?). I’ve also had my tough moments where everything felt rather overwhelming.. but they surely do not make my January any less good. After all, the way we perceive what we experience depends on the lens through which we choose to view our life.

The highlights/experiences I am just about to share were actually a really great reminder of how exciting life can when I adventure into the new. So, here they are:

1. Ice skating

Coming from a place where ice skating is not a thing, I am so excited I got the opportunity  to try it. This was the very first time I ice skated in my 26 years of existence and boy was it fun. I must say that I am not the most coordinated person but I am quite outdoorsy and basically love all kinds of sports (collective sports, winter sports, summer sports, etc..).

I have been wanting to give a go to ice skating ever since I moved to The Netherlands and I have finally done it YAYAYAY! This experience was sponsored by my company and it was so much fun! My balance and coordination were definitely challenged and I am pretty sure I did not look very graceful whilst ice skating (at least certainly not when I fell and got my bum wet haha) but I really reeeeally enjoyed it.

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2. SKALAR live show

In Christmas I got my boyfriend and I two tickets for this live show of light and music in Amsterdam and I am so pleased for having done so. It was absolutely spectacular and I can’t honestly compare it to anything that I saw before.

This large-scale artistic production is delivered by the German light artist Christopher Bauder and by the musician Kangding Ray. Every single one of their shows is unique.

If you are a very visual person, then you’re sure to love it. These two great artists bring “choreographed light and electronic music to life in real-time” and it is impossible not be left in awe. We were sat down and looking up for one hour in order to absorb as much as we could. What an amazing sensorial experience this was!

 

 

3. Visited two coffee spots that were on my “cafes to visit” list for way too long

If you are an avid reader of my blog, you are well aware of how much I love to explore new cafes.

I have always found inspiration surrounded by people and by the smell of coffee. Hence why I have always loved to study and write at cafes. I like when the atmosphere is laid-back and creative but that is certainly not the only factor that matters to me whenever I am at a cafe. I care about the transparency of the coffeeshop when it comes to the sourcing and production of their coffee. I care about the quality of the coffee and whether it is organic and fair trade or not. I care about the service and the genuine love of the people running the cafe.

A cafe can look like the most instagrammable place but if it lacks soul, then I won’t most likely bother to go back.

All that being said, I am very happy to say that I have finally crossed off two different coffee spots from my list of cafes to visit in The Netherlands and they did not disappoint.

You can see some photos of both below.

The Village Coffee & Music, Utrecht

 

Bocca Coffee

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A good cup of coffee is more about the passion injected into it by the barista and the hard work of all of those before him in the supply chain than anything else.

 

4. 17Km Leersum hike 

I had this 17km hike to Utrechtse Heuvelrug, a national park in the south of Holland, planned since December per the invitation of a friend of mine. This was probably my longest hike ever and, as strange as it may sound, I felt somewhat recharged after it. It was a different way to spend my Sunday with my boyfriend and friends but I really enjoyed the experience. I also got to explore a beautiful area of The Netherlands that was new to me, which was lovely.

There’s something quite special about being completely immersed in the natural world, far from the “civilization”. I am a firm believer that a walk in the woods can do wonders for our mental health and that nature is the antidote to a stressed and overwhelmend mind. Our own breathing and footsteps, the fresh and crisp air on our faces, the rustling trees.. all of this provides a sense of tranquil awareness that I simply can’t put into words. Being out in the nature can be so healing and I want to do it more often. Plus, going for this hike with my boyfriend and friends gave us some uninterrupted time to catch up on “life”, which was great.

 

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5. Sprouting workshop

I’ve always naturally gravitated towards nutrition- and health-related topics. For that reason, I got super stoked when I found out that a work colleague is a nutrition therapist and gives workshops on how we can best benefit from incorporating certain fermented/sprouted foods into our diets for optimum nutrition and digestion!

If you follow me for a while, you probably know that I have IBS (“irritable bowel syndrome”) and, as a result, my body struggles to digeste certain foods. Since my diet is based on plants, my protein intake comes from them. Legumes and beans are rich sources of protein but are not great for sensitive digestive systems due to their indigestible carbohydrates. Thus, given that I can’t consume them on a regular basis, I have to rely on tofu and soya milk/yoghurt as my main sources of protein. This is of course not a bad thing but it naturally limits my diet in terms of vitamins and minerals.
To those of you who don’t know, sprouting foods like legumes (e.g. lentils and chickpeas) and even grains (e.g. wheat and barley), reduces their fodmap content, making them easier to be digested and absorbed by the body. Plus, sprouting foods also tends to enhance their nutritional value, making them richer in protein, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and vitamins C and K.
That being said, because I wanted to learn how I can best add variety to my diet without increasing my IBS symptoms, I decided to attend my friend’s workshop about sprouting foods! She took us through the entire sprouting process and it was so insightful and informative! I was able to deepen my knowledge about all the nutritional benefits of sprouting different grains,legumes and seeds and how we can eat sprouts for optimum digestion. At the end of the workshop we got to eat a yummy lunch all together (with sprouts of course!). We had a warm bowl of coconut pumpkin and spinach soup with some toasted sprouted bread. Both so flavourful and nourishing. I also brought home a sprouting starter kit and a booklet with lots of useful information. I have already started to grow my own sprouts and I am finding it sooooooo exciting!! 🙂

 

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Lastly, but certainly not least:

6. My 4-year anniversary in The Netherlands 

A highlight that made all the above highlights possible.

I can’t believe that 4 years have gone by since I moved to this country. It really does not look like that long at all but hey, it really is how they say: Time flies when you’re having fun. 

I moved here to do my master’s degree, got a job shortly afterwards and stayed here since then. I have learned and grown so much during these 4 years. It has been a roller coaster ride with ups and downs but not even once have I regretted the decision of moving to The Netherlands.

 

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…And this is it! My highlights from the very first month of 2020. I’d now love if could share some of your 2020 highlights in the comment section below! 🙂

Thanks a lot for reading and wish you a lovely week ahead!

 

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

 

My takeaways from a busy week at work.

My 1-month work probationary period ended on the 1st November and I passed it: YAY!!

The week prior to it was also my very first crazy busy week at this (now not so new anymore) job. I feel like it taught me a lot and because I think we can learn a lot from other people’s stories and experiences, I would like to share my main takeaways from it in this blog post.

As you know, I like to keep things real here and I am not going to lie..It was quite a rough week and I got home feeling both frustrated and mentally drained in most of the days. Even though I was working for long hours, I still felt like I was lagging behind work. Subsequently, I started to think that perhaps I was not picking things as quickly as I should or that my reasoning was not as sharp as it was expected from me. Basically that negative self-talk – that is nothing else than a bunch of BS – came around. To make things worse, this was also a week of overall bad sleep mainly due to the self-imposed pressure of wanting to perform well during my first financial month end closing in the company… Thankfully I have a partner who gives pep talks like no one and he reminded me that my self-worth is not defined by how “good “or “less good” my days at work might go. He also reminded me to just see the situation as it is, instead of trying to make something of it. I tried to follow his advice and just take one day at a time. I managed to do all my tasks (some with additional support from my manager and others without) on time, everything went well and I felt proud of myself and of how much effort I put into c. All I needed was to give myself some grace and time to get “my feet on the ground” in my new job position.

Once my week reached to an end, I went home and just poured my thoughts down on paper. This is something that never fails to bring me groundedness and mental clarity. Journaling about my first busy period at work helped me to put things in perspective and made me realise these takeaways. So, with no additional digressions, here are my lessons learnt:

 

  • If I want to to do my job well at all times, I need to be able to dettach my sense of self-worth from unexpected issues that arise and from any mistakes I might do. In other words, when things are not going as I had hoped for, I must get focused, not emotional.
  • It is never about winning or losing. I am either winning or learning (wise words from Nelson Mandela) and there is a lesson in every struggle.
  • I do not have to perceive my days as just “good” or just “bad”. I can have a day with some ups and downs and not
  • I need to stop being so self-critical. My harsh inner critic robs me of mental strength and that is the last thing I need when I am faced with a struggle.
  • I can’t keep on preaching about self-love and then be so hard on myself.
    • If I make a mistake, I should move on from it and find a solution for it. Nobody sees an apology as an useful thing unless I am offering something of value in return. So, when I make a mistake, I should think of a way to fix it. My mental energy should go into finding a solution instead of immediately apologising for it, internalising it and feeling like I am failing at doing my job right.
  • While this is certainly a challenging job, it is also one that I am really enjoying doing and one that is sure to make me grow both personally and professionally. And these are all good enough reasons to feel grateful for it. Plus, this exactly the kind of job I wished for so long. Things at work will get hectic and life will get chaotic from time to time and that is ok. I should be grateful for that and just remember when I wanted what I currently have.On that note, these busy days at work really showed me how gratitude is the way to go.

Gratitude will always bring me back to myself. ♥

 

Funnily enough, after writing all these points down, I realised that you can actually take them to all realms of your life. They really are applicable to all sitautions we may go through in life.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and would love to know in the comment section below if you would like to share a different lesson/takeaway from a stressful and busy and/or rough time you have had at work? Also, how do you cope with times like that? I am always open and eager to hear about other people’s experiences! 🙂

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

 

August & September highlights.

It’s been a hot minute since my last blog post of monthly highlights but l have been struggling to find time to dedicate to this platform. Anyways, I am now here to share my August and September highlights! These two months were – with any doubts – life changing and  I decided to combine the highlights of both in one post since some of the things that happened in August led to others that happened in September.

I don’t know about you guys but I personally love to list everything significant that happens in every month. I think that doing this “monthly check-in”/review encourages self-reflection, increases my self-awareness and offers me the chance to track my progress. Plus, I also see it as an excellent way for acknowledging our small wins and milestones and find empowerment in all the things that are sent our way. Anyhoo, as I was saying, a lot has happened and I feel like my life did a 360 degrees turn within just a couple of months. Change has been a constant (like never before really) and I guess that it will some time for everything to really sink in and become the “new normal”. In the meantime, all I can say is:

I am grateful for where I am at and excited for where I am going.

I will stop digressing now and just get to onto my August and September 2019 highlights. Here they are:

August

  • I renewed my passport in preparation for my big 2019 trip that took place in September!
  • I went to the 2019 Pride Parade in Amsterdam. Even though it was my third time there, it was actually the first time I went with my boyfriend! We had so much fun watching the parade whilst drinking some nice prosecco!
  • I travelled to Germany in order to spend a girls weekend with the best friend in the whole wide world. I missed her so much and was so looking forward to spending 2 entire days with her! We talked for hours and hours, went out to party, had a wonderful homemade dinner and brunch in the next day, had some proper girls time taking care of our skin, spoiled each other with gifts, relaxed and went out to a really nice brunch place! I also had the chance of catching up with another close of friend of mine who is currently living in Dusselfdorf and it could not have been better.
  • I participated in a Basketball competition at work and, surprisingly, I did quite well! I’d describe myself as someone who is outdoorsy and sporty but basketball was never jam. However, I guess, that this just went to show how silly are some of the pre-conceived ideas we have about ourselves.
  • I finally bought myself a pink Fujifim Instax mini camera! I bought it especially for my trip to New York because I want to make a travel scrapbook with all the polaroids! I think that analog photography is quite special because you can’t delete the photos or apply a filter, which we do so automatically nowadays. I love the idea of the polaroids being a pure and raw reflection of the moment that we can keep forever.
  • I came to the realisation earlier this year that I was ready for a new professional challenge. I was not finding my job trully fullfiling or challenging anymore and, hence, I decided to explore the possibility of getting a new job. I am of the opinion that you should find joy in the work you do. Oherwise what is point of dedicating so many hours of your life to it? That being said, around mid-August I was unexpectedly contacted by two companies that are very different from each other (business sector- and work approach-wise). One of them is an Australian Digital marketing and Social media company and the other one is an American outdoor clothing company (that I wanted to work for ages!!). Both are big companies with their headquarters in Amsterdam and both were offering very interesting job positions and career prospects. I went to several rounds of interviews and ended by receiving a final job offer from both.
  • I happily accepted the job offer from the American company because it is a company that I look up to not only for its vision and ethics but also for its outstanding work when it comes to environmental and social activism.  I truly believe that you will always find more meaning (and inspiration) in your job when you work for a company whose values and principles are the ones you stand by. I am still so happy and deeply grateful for having had this job opportunity!
  • Following the above highlight, I resigned from the job I had for nearly 2.5 years. I handed out my letter of resignation to my manager and shortly after, I called a meeting with my team to communicate my decision. I felt a mix of nervousness and excitement but it all went well.
  • I finished the book: The good wife strikes back by Elizabeth Buchan. Finishing a good book is something I consider a highlight. I love the power that a simple book has to pull you back to the present moment and transport to other realms. It does not matter how much stress or countless issues you are dealing with, it all just seems to slip away when you lose yourself in a good or entertaining story. Even though this is not one of the best novels I have read because I could not feel very connected to the characters, it was still an entertaining and good enough read.

September

  • Due to my NY trip approaching, I decided to watch the movies “You’ve got mail” and “When Harry met Sally”. Yup, this was another highlight because I really enjoyed my time watching these movies that so lonvingly emboded NY city’s Upper West Side neighborhood. These are just two of those all-time classic movies that you need to watch, regardless of whether you are a fan of cheesy romantic comedies or not.
  • I received free tickets to watch my first football match in The Netherlands, in which AJAX (considered as one of the best Dutch teams) is going to play!
  • Finding an unshared flat to live in the biggest Dutch cities is a real challenge in itself (let alone at a reasonable price). There is considerably more demand than offer.. However, it seems like – after 2 rounds of applications – I was allocated an apartment at a building, whose end of construction is due in December! It t is going to be a brand new flat in a super central location and it is going to have a balcony (something I never had ever since I moved to The Netherlands)! The keys handover is planned to take place in December and I cannot wait to move in! It still does not feel quite real to me.
  • Got to spend my 26th birthday in NY with my boyfriend. It was not only my very first time in the Big Apple but also and the first birthday that I got to share with my partner (from the moment I woke up until the moment I fell asleep). He really made me feel like one very special and lucky girl. ♥
  • My granny passed away on my birthday and this was undoubtedly one of the greatest losses I have ever experienced (and still am experiencing).
  • I did a Yoga Vinyasa class at Central Park. It was amazing to feel the Earth right beneath me and connect within whilst being surrounded by so much greenery.
  • I bought my sister 2 tickets to watch the musical “Book of Mormom” in London for her 30th birthday. She will soon move out of the city and I knew that this is one of the few great musicals she had not watched it yet. It feels so good to be able to afford gifting your beloved ones with an experience they’ll hopefully enjoy and remember for a long time.
  • Three days later after coming back from NY (gladly did not suffer from jet lag), I flew to my homecountry in order to spend a week with my family. We had some proper quality time together and went on a 3-day mini holiday to El Grove, Vigo and Cies Islands (Galicia,Spain). I think we all needed some relaxing and bonding time in family.
  • During my holiday in Portugal, I went for a full-body massage and treated my mum to one too.
  • In honour of Fall’s arrival, I have baked my very first pumpkin spice loaf bread. and it turned super tasty. Yup, that is right guys. This is indeed a big highlight for me. I baked it when I went home for a week vacation and mum and dad loved it. It was vegan and I sorted came up with the recipe based on two that I had looked up online. I was quite surprised with how tasty it actually turned out!
  • On the last day of September (just 1 day after coming back from Portugal), I had the farewell from my previous company. This was a new experience for me because I got this job when I was a just a 22-year-old girl coming straight out of Universtity. It was my first real job and for that reason the farewell felt specail. My team took me out for a last lunch at a very nice restaurant just by a lake. It made me very happy to see the entire team (including the two people who are based in Germany) all around the table for my farewell.
  • I received lots of meaningful gifts, which made me realise how thoughtful my ex-colleagues were (and how well some of them knew me). However, getting a big card with the best wishes of 55 people was the most special gift of all. Many of these people also congratulated me for having the “courage” of following my dreams and that really spoke to my heart.
  • I got to travel to 4 different countries within juts 6 weeks: Germany, U.S., Portugal and Spain.
  • These 2 months showed me that going through the best and worst times in our life really reveals who our true friends are. This was also a highlight in itself. I received extra love and unexpected heartfelt messages and phone calls from my closest friends all throughout these months, which added additional meaning to what I went through.

These were two months of lots of emotions. I still find myself trying to wrap my head around of everything that happened (and it is still happening). If I think too much about all these recent events I can’t help but feel a bit overwhelmed by them all… But I feel deeply grateful too. Each one of them taught me a lot about myself and these are the main takeaways I’d like to end this post with:

  1. Even though change is a positive thing and is needed, it can make us feel rather overwhelmed. Thus, just know that you can welcome change into your life and still take it day by day.
  2. Life happens and sometimes all at once but one thing is for sure: we are all worth of new beginnings.

Okaaaay this post turned out to be longer than I had expected!… but hopefully you found it a bit interesting, rathen than insanely boring?!

Please let me know in the comment section below if you too are someone who finds pleasure in writing down the monthly highlights! 🙂

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

Live the story you want to tell.

So much has happened over the past 7 weeks. There was a 180 degree change in my life. Many of the things that I have been wishing to happen for the past year or so have finally happened and one thing is for sure… I am so grateful for where I am right now and I am so excited about where I am heading to.

As I wake up this morning in my semi-dark bedroom, at the house I grew up in, and hear the rain outside..I feel nothing but joy and gratitude. I am currently on vacation in my homecountry and it feels like this is the best way to say goodbye to the current season of my life. A new phase is approaching. I will be welcoming a new season of life in exactly one week. A season that is sure to bring forth new opportunities, challenges, learning and growth.  If there is one thing that I have come to realize is that we should “Live the story we want to tell”. And, for this, we should bear in mind two very important things. Firstly, we are the changemakers and the change we seek is oftentimes within us. Secondly, our story can be reshaped every time we decide so.

 

I hope you have enjoyed to read this short post! Enjoy the rest of your week xx

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

Hitting rock bottom.

I think that all of us, at some point in our lives, eventually hit rock bottom; whether that happens in our personal or in our professional sphere; or even all at once. I think that those who have been there already, would agree that hitting rock bottom can leave us feeling quite hopeless because the idea of  bouncing back again may seem rather out of reach but… what if hitting rock bottom is what we need to find ourselves again and find out who we really are? What if hitting rock bottom shows us the way forward? What if hitting rock bottom turns out to be nothing more than a blessing in disguise?

A lot happened during the first half of last year. I lost myself trying to find myself. I went through countless ups and downs and I eventually hit flat-out rock bottom at some point. That forced me had to face myself as well as all my fears and insecurities. Subsequently, that led me to question everything that I ever thought to be unquestionably true. Almost a year has passed now and I look back at that time of struggle with a deep feeling of gratitude and self-compassion. I learned a lot about myself and I learned how to appreciate everything good – great in fact – that I have in my life. I have also come to realise that sometimes all we need is to actually hit rock bottom and that is why I am here today. I will be sharing in this post why I personally think that hitting rock bottom does not have necessarily be a bad thing and and what are some of the things that are important to keep in mind when we find ourselves at the bottom.

  • Hitting rock bottom has the potential of showing us all our dysfunctional behaviours. It is pointless to keep doing the same things over and over again and expect a different result. It is useless to delude ourselves into thinking that everything is just great when, deep down, we know pretty well it is not. So, by hitting rock bottom I was able to see things in another light and realise that if I want a different outcome then I must change the process.
  • Sometimes we need to let go of the old to create space for the new. I had to let go of habits that were no longer serving me so I could welcome empowering and positive new ones into my life.
  • At the beginning, when I hit rock bottom, I felt lost and clueless about how to make my way up again, how to bounce back but then I just remind yourself that “this too shall pass”. I just trust that my pain was temporary and try to see the bottom as a springboard that I could use to push myself up. It worked.
  • When you hit rock bottom and hence, your lowest point, you can rest assured that  your situation can only get better from there. When you cannot sink any lower, there’s nowhere to go but up, right? As the saying goes “It is all uphill from here“.
  • Give yourself time to understand what the situation you are into means to you, embrace the chaos and the uncomfortable until it becomes comfortable. Do not focus on how you feel but on how you want to feel instead. That it is what ultimately will get yourself out of the bottom.

 If you are going through something difficult and have hit rock bottom, I hope this post has given you some hope and served as a good reminder that this is just temporary. You are going to rise above whatever adversities life has thrown at you. Trust the process.

 

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

My month of January in review

Well. January just flew by like a fastball. It is crazy how the first month of the new year is already done. Time seems to be speeding up as I grow older and older… Or is it just me? Anyway, as February is already here, I thought I would share with you some of my last month’s highlights. I always like to take time to reflect on the previous month as it improves my self-awareness and provides perspective.

Personal highlight of the month:

After being in a long-distance relationship for nearly 5 years, my boyfriend has left his home country – England – and moved in with me. It was about time! Now we will be both living and working in The Netherlands. We are both so darn happy and grateful for this huge change in our lives and relationship. This really goes to show that great things take time. ♥

Most exciting purchase:

Flights to London. My sister is having her graduation ceremony in May and I finally got to buy the plane tickets so I can be there to congratulate her in person. She finished her PhD from Imperial London College and I could not be more proud of her. Seriously.

Favourite ethical purchase:

Freezer bags made of silicone grade food, another small step towards using less plastic in my day-to-day life. I am so pleased with this purchase! Because the material is odourless and non-toxic (free of bpa, latex, lead and phthalates), it is a more sustainable and safer plastic alternative both for the planet and our health. Other characteristics of these bags that I am very pleased about are their self-sealing convenience, transparency of the material (i.e. you can easily see what is stored in them), light weight (i.e. easy to transport). They also don’t take much space at all, which is great given the fact that my freezer is not very big. Plus, as they are sturdy and resistant to extreme temperatures, you can just reuse them with no issues whatsoever. For those wondering, I got these silicone freezer bags from Amazon and totally recommend.

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Favourite book:

The Undutchables: An Observation of the Netherlands, Its Culture and Its Inhabitants by Colin White and Laurie Boucke. As an expat living in The Netherlands, I find this book to be unbelievably humorous and entertaining! I think that it is the kind of book that someone who is interested in learning more about the Dutch culture would find very interesting and insightful to read. It captures many of the funny quirks of the Dutchies at the same that presents them in a very funny and authentic way.

 

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Favourite song:

Mumford and sons – Guiding Light.

I know, I know. It is not exactly a new tune but it is so lovely and pleasing to the ear.

Favourite movie:

“Johny English strikes again”. Any comedy movie with Rowan Atkinson is a must-watch for me! I watched it right on the first day of the year and it made me start 2019 on a “positive” note if you know what I mean. My boyfriend and I had a really great laugh. Is it not laughter the best medicine and therapy one can have?

Favourite homemade dinner:

BBQ pulled jackfruit tacos. Yes, oh yes.

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Jackfruit is one of my favourite meat replacements and I had been wanting to make this recipe for a loooong looong time. I am so glad and happy with how tasty it turned out. The boyfriend, who is a meat-eater, said that they were freakin’ delicious and he actually also said that both the texture and flavour resemble chicken meat! What a win in the kitchen! 🙂

Favourite memory:

One of my good friends from my home country came visit me with her boyfriend. She came exactly when we had the first real snowfall of the year and she got so thrilled haha! ..and oh well, in all honesty, so did I. I feel like it does not matter how long I live in The Netherlands for, I still get excited every single time I see snow. It is just oh so pretty and magic and peaceful.  Anyhoo, focus focus. As I was saying, my friend came visit and I made a reservation in one of my fave restaurants in town. We delighted ourselves in some lovely vegan Vietnamese food, shared some funny stories and laughed a lot! Both our partners came along and it was lovely to see how they just clicked and got on well with each other. It was a really great night and we got to build some new beautiful memories together to add to our 20 years of friendship.

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The first real snowfall of this Winter.

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All in all, a great start to the year 2019! 🙂

How did January treat you? What were some of your January highlights? Please let me know in the comment section below! 🙂

 

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

 

 

 

3 reasons to choose soy candles over regular ones

I love lighting up candles, especially when Fall and Winter roll around. There is just something so special and relaxing about a soft, flickering light. Plus, they just make any room feel homey and cozy. However, as I have been becoming more and more environmentally-conscious when it comes to my purchases, I could not help but wonder how eco-friendly were the regular paraffin-based candles I was buying. When I started looking and reading into it..well, let’s just say I was not impressed. This meant that with little deliberation, I went ahead and bought myself a selection of soy candles for the first time.

I was so pleased to find soya candles at Søstrene Grene , which is a Danish retail chain and one of my favourite lifestyle stores (especially for home decor).

Before jumping into the reasons why I think it is better to use soy candles over regular ones, I just want to make a brief remark. It is important to highlight that even though I believe they are a better option for the environment than paraffin-based ones, they are still not the most sustainable option out there. There are a few aspects to take into consideration when buying soy candles. As you probably have heard there are many concerns and issues related to the massive soybean industry, like deforestation (mainly in Brazil) and pollution caused by the heavy use of pesticides and fertilisers. Thus, I would advise you to try buying soy candles from companies that are able to ensure that the soy is domestically grown (which most of the times is), non-GMO and from traceable growers. If the soy candles are produced locally, you are actually supporting local businesses/farmers, whilst encouraging local agriculture, which is great. Now that this is out of the way, let’s jump right into the 3 major benefits of using soy candles as opposed to regular ones!

  • Soy candles are natural.

Contrary to paraffin, which is derived from petroleum, shale oil or coal (non-renewable resources), soy candles are made from soya beans, a natural ingredient that is biodegradable and a totally renewable resource. They, therefore, burn cleaner, create a negligible amount of soot and can actually release their fragrance easier and wider.

  • Better for your health and the environment

While burning petroleum-based candles toxins that are carcinogenic in nature may be released. Though, if the candle is 100% made of soy beans you can rest assured that, while burning, no harmful toxics are being released into the air you breathe or into the earth’s atmosphere.

  • Last for longer. Hence, more cost-effective 

Even though soy candles are generally more expensive when compared to regular ones, they last for a longer period of time making them a more cost-effective in the long-term.  Their burning rate is lower and up to 50% longer than regular candles.

These are the candles I bought at Søstrene Grene:

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I must say though that this was not my wisest purchase ever… As soon as I saw the candles for sale, I got so excited that bought them right away without properly reading the label. It was only when I got home that I noticed that they are actually made of 95% soya and 5% paraffin. So, I guess that this purchase ended up by not being exactly the  best purchase for the environment or health as I thought but.. lesson learned. Next time I will certainly be paying more attention and will not my excitement carry me away. Anyhoo, I am very happy with how good the scents I went for are – “twilight oak” and “sea salt rose”- and I am also very impressed with how slow they burn. Plus, each of them was just under 3 euros, which I find to be super affordable. All in all, I feel that this purchase was still a win when it comes price-quality and value. These soy candles are certainly a safer and overall better option than the regular candles I used to buy.

I hope you have found this post somehow informative and insightful. I believe that when you consider all of the positive attributes soy candles may possess (if sourced sustainably), you will not be giving up anything when you choose buying them over regular ones. You can find soya candles in all of the fragrances you’re accustomed to and they are just better for you and the environment.

Now tell me, have you ever bought soy candles? If so, how do you like them? Do you have a specific brand you like and would recommend? Let me know in the comment section below! 🙂

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful