That Whole Gratitude-thing #1

Photo on 2013-11-10 at 15.19

Hi Internet Friendz, happy Sunday.

I’m happy today, because I had a lot of cake but also other reasons. So I hereby present my very first real personal gratitude list on the blog: That Whole Gratitude Thing.

(Possible Undertitle: Everyone’s Doing It And If They’re Not They Should Be Because Gratitude Is Healthy And Important And Stuff.)

Including Instagram pictures and Manfriend. Enjoy. (Or not, I don’t know your life and what you’re into.)


HASHTAG SPOIL SLEEP-OVER MAYHEM: My 10-year old cousin came over for a sleep-over here in Rotterdam! Her big brother had already slept over at my place over the summer (we went to see Monster’s University and he ate his own weight in ALL the foods) so she was super-excited to have a weekend with me too. OBVIOUSLY spoiling had to ensue.

After I picked her up from home, Manfriend made her French toast for lunch. We dove into Rotterdam for shopping, Starbucks, and the movie Turbo. For anyone who doesn’t know, the movie Turbo is about a racecar-obsessed snail. It’s cute. 10/10 would recommend.

After the movie we took the tram to La Pizza, where we waited for Manfriend with drinks (I had prosecco and the munchkin had Coca Cola: both considered treats for each respective party). After some fingerlicking delicious pizzas we went home to watch Despicable Me 2 with Alice in Cakeland cupcakes. I actually fell asleep on the couch. Twice. So hardcore.

This morning I woke up to find the little girl already awake, reading her favorite book (khkgjss SHE IS SO CUTE. <3)

We had tea and breakfast together before going to Lof der Zoetheid for a morning-cup of coffee (in her case hot chocolate). Afterwards she got to choose all sort of delicious cakes; we were going to visit our grandparents and the entire family was coming.

Spoiling her rotten is something I throroughly enjoy doing, but that’s not what the sleepover is about for me. It’s about spending quality time with someone I have taken care of and loved ever since she was a baby. It’s about talking to her and listening to her. Showing her that she is important to me. That what she thinks matters to me.

And it’s about being a rolemodel for her. Someone who is young (and cool, according to her at least, no idea why) who loves her unconditionally, who shows her new things. Who teaches her to be kind, patient and friendly through example. Someone who has her own life, but who always makes time for her family. Speaking of…


(translation: “Uncle, are you coming for coffee?” “In ten minutes.” “You better run or we’ll be out of cake!”)

FAMILY: I am very close to my immediate family, but also to my grandparents, uncles, aunts, their kids, and even some of the cousins twice-removed. We’re a close (Brady) bunch. I like it a lot, although a definite downside is that I have like a million birthdays to go to every month.

When I was a kid, we used to go to my grandparents every Sunday morning to have coffee and spend time together. I believe that’s half the reason I’m so close to everyone: Lots of quality time. Now, I can’t go every week anymore, but I try to go at least once every three weeks. This morning I went there with my cousin. We brought ALL the cake for everyone and hung out for a while.

I love being with my family. I’m very grateful that I was born in such a strong support system and that all my grandparents are still alive. Emotalk but true.

GRATITUDE ITSELF: Yes, I’m grateful for the principle of gratitude. Gratitude-ception.

After a period of not-feeling-well-at-all, followed by a period of feeling-neutral (which was a huge upgrade – never again will I complain about just feeling neutral), I reconnected with the gratitude I feel for so many things in my life. That reconnection makes such a difference in my mood.

I’m a lot happier now and strangely enough, I get a huge productivity-kick from gratitude: It makes me so aware of how fortunate I already am that I want to work hard to maintain it…and create even more to be grateful for.

LIN: Last Tuesday I had a spontaneous risotto-date with Lin after work. It’s so nice to literally live less than 300 metres away from your BFF. I sat still and looked pretty drank cava in her kitchen while she cooked me an amazing risotto dish. We had (lots of) cava and risotto, talked for hours and made plans for the rest of the year.

Everyone should have a BFF like Lin. She’s extremely loving, majorly supportive, calls me on my shit (“LOOK, it’s very noble and honorable that you hate to advertise yourself but YOU NEED TO GET OVER IT. AT LEAST A LITTLE!”), she understands me and she  is so much fun to be with.

Other reasons that I am grateful for Lin include (but are not limited to) her appreciation for the finer things in life, her hospitality, her amazing cooking skills and that she is determined and hard-working. Shit like that rubs off.



My new potato-sack dress – A haircut that doesn’t make me look like a poodle – Neil Gaiman’s novel ‘American Gods’ – This song – and this song – but also this song – The Body Shop Satsuma Body Butter – The concert of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra I got to witness Friday night: I love classical music.- Having a lot of free time coming up that I can spend writing – Chanel perfume – This smoothie recipe by that I am OBSESSED WITH. – Thinking back on my holiday with Manfriend this summer and smiling – Jared Padelecki (HE IS SO PRETTY IT MAKES ME HAPPY OKAY) – Getting to give a SHH Workshop in Belgium! (If you want to come see me in Leuven on the 15th of December, send me an e-mail!).

Photo on 2013-11-10 at 15.21 #3

From the Self Help Hipster Residence featuring Overly Attached Manfriend….

Photo on 2013-11-10 at 15.21 #5

….I wish you a pleasant evening and a nice week OK BYE!


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  1. Aaahh wat een fijne en leuke post <333 het helpt ook heel erg om die dingen op te schrijven inderdaad. En wat fijn dat jij en Lin zo goed samengaan, beautiful!

  2. Heel fijne post!
    En over je nichtje, blijven doen die logeerpartijtjes! Mijn neven en nichten zijn allemaal 10 tot 30 jaar ouder dan ik (huge leeftijdsverschil doordat mijn ouders de jongsten van hun familie zijn en ook nog eens laat ouders werden) en als ik dan mocht logeren bij mijn grote neven of nichten was dat echt het allerbeste ooit. Jungle Book kijken in de bioscoop, snoepen, laat opblijven, ik vond het altijd zo geweldig. Ik denk dat jij haar nu ook heel mooie herinneringen meegeeft 🙂
    Helaas zie ik mijn familie nu niet zo vaak, de meesten één keer per jaar of nog minder, en dat mis ik wel. Het lijkt me heerlijk om iedereen gewoon elke maand (een paar keer) te zien zeg!

    1. Dat hoop ik wel, ik heb ook al helemaal haar verjaardagscadeautje in mijn hoofd voor meer mooie herinneringen. Fijn dat jij ook zo heerlijk bent verwend door iedereen!

  3. Familie is liefde. Ik heb geen enorme familie maar vind het wel super belangrijk en gezellig ze te zien. Leuk om te lezen hoe je over familie denkt want heel veel Nederlanders hebben dit veel minder en heb er genoeg horen zeggen dat ze er niet veel mee hebben.

    1. Klopt, en dat is helemaal niet erg, maar ik vind het echt oprecht chill om bij mijn familie te zijn. Echt ontspannen.

  4. Gosh, this is such a nice post, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy with secondhand gratitude.. Sorry for the TMI haha
    It’s always good to take some time to count your blessings.
    Right now, i’m grateful for:
    – My family, aka my parents and brother. They are so patient with me. They give me space to do the things i need to do without pressuring me in any way.. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself, they don’t. It’s very kind.
    – My wonderful boyfriend. We haven’t known each other long (we met the first day of school) but there was this instant spark and things just escalated from there haha. He’s very understanding and respectful towards me. Especially when it comes to my disorder, my anxiety and all the craziness that comes with that.
    – My new friends, who already make me feel like i’m part of something, like my own little non-judgment breakfast club. I can tell them anything, they can tell me anything, and we don’t judge each other. It’s very nice.. Also very new to me, so i need some getting used to, but wow. I have friends and it’s cool.
    – Being able to go to school. Especially this. I’m so grateful for being able to do something so normal as going to school. Learning, interacting, socializing etc. It’s the best thing. 🙂
    – I’m also grateful for you, your blog. You’ve helped me a lot. Given me insight, or food for thought. And you’ve given me these tips and tricks on self help. and they’ve actually helped me feel or remain more sane. So thank you.
    I’ve said it quite a few times, on here and twitter and stuff. But it’s true. It’s the nicest thing and quite a big thing (helping someone with ptsd and depressions remain sane). And also when you just comment on a picture or tweet back, it literally means the world, puts a permanent smile on my face and just makes me feel good 🙂

    1. I love that you’re so thankful for the great people around you and I’m so happy me and my blog can put a smile on your face. Stay cool, Internet Friend.

  5. I’m grateful for (personal) gratitude lists and I’m grateful for your blog so YAY, twee vliegen in een klap!
    Your gratitude list is awesome, I hope there’ll be a number 2 (and 3, 4…). 🙂

  6. I love to read of how you spent the weekend with your cousin! My sister is pregnant (first baby in the direct family, omg!) and I cannot wait to spend lots of time with that little boy or girl.
    You always remind me to be grateful for the little things in life, and you make me aware that those things are of sigificant importance too. Thanks!