[MINI] CITYGUIDE UTRECHT

We only spent a few hours in Utrecht but considering its size I think it’s still worth telling you the best spots we discovered during that time. So here we go, Utrecht is definitely worth a visit, whether it’s only a few hours or a whole weekend!

DE KEUKEN VAN KEEK
Haven’t tried it but it’s supposed to be one of the best spots in Utrecht for delicious homemade cake and bread and all that kind of stuff.
De Keuken Van Keek // Oudegracht 362
BLACKBIRD COFFEE & VINTAGE
Super cute and tiny café and concept store a bit down the main canal in Utrecht. Perfect to enjoy a coffee and piece of cake outside in the sun, watching the people passing by.
Blackbird Coffee // Oudegracht 222
JUT & JUUL VINTAGE
Cute vintage and concept store in a hidden alley, packed with nice jewellery, some clothes and all this stuff that you wish someone would give it to you for your next birthday: tiny plant pots, cookie dough  in pretty bottles, knit hats and more.
Jut & Juul // Telingstraat 11

 

 

MENEER SMAKERS BURGER

Amazing burger restaurant in the centre of Utrecht, that also offers delicious fish- and veggie burgers. Can be perfectly enjoyed sitting on a bench by a small canal nearby, sharing the homemade fries and watching the city turn dark.
Meneer Smarkers // Nobelstraat 143 (& Twijnstraat 62)

HUTSPOT UTRECHT
Probably the most famous concept store in Amsterdam also made it to Utrecht and is definitely worth a visit – not necessarily shopping-wise but it’s still nice to look at all this fancy and overpriced stuff or have a drink in the bar next door.
Hutspot Utrecht // Vinkenburgstraat 19
EPISODE
Another Amsterdam-classic in Utrecht: Episode is likely the best place to shop second hand clothes that look like new (or at least like “used-look-new”): from Adidas Superstars and American-Apparel-like crop tops to cheap cashmere sweaters, cosy flannels and the perfect Levis Cut offs! Bring time and moneyyy!
Episode // Oudegracht 206

And for more hotspots take a look at the USE-IT Utrecht map, wish I knew about this one before our trip. Enjoyyyy!!

ONE DAY IN UTRECHT

After having our last assignments on Wednesday we thought it was about time to get out of Amsterdam and explore some other parts of the Netherlands. Considering it’s only 20 mins and – when travelling with a Dutchie 4‚ā¨ – to go there we decided that our first destination would be Utrecht.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It turned out to be a wonderful warm and sunny day spent with hours and hours of walking up and down the main canal, sitting outside a café enjoying the sun, going on a Christmas present hunt (not so successful) and ending up eating delicious veggie burgers on a bench by a small canal, watching the christmas lights. Everything was just perfect.

Heading home tomorrow, can’t wait for 2 weeks without doing anything, without the constant thought of how long my to do list or when the next deadline is, just watching movies, baking christmas cookies and catching up with old friends. It’s been a while.

WRAPPED UP

The time has come: I can officially wear my favourite sweater without feeling guilty because it’s not wintery enough yet. But now it definitely is. A few more days and a few more assignments and I am going back home for Christmas.

 

 

And thanks to Daniel Wellington for my new watch, with which my sweater gets a great companion and I can keep up my German values and always be on time. Also, using the code CocoMathilde you get a 15% discount on all Daniel Wellington products until January 15, so don’t miss your chance and make your wrist look as classy as mine.
Oh and a shoutout to Leila for being so patient taking the photos, until I was more or less satisfied and our fingers so cold that we needed a 2 hours coffee break in my favourite café to warm up.
Besides these rare breaks I spend most of my time in the library and uni right now, either working on a ridiculous amount of finals or dancing to All I want for Christmas at my uni’s Winter Formal. It was a great night full of super nicely dressed people, white wine and a great christmassy atmosphere. And now it’s only one week to go!!

FLOWER FESTIVAL CHIANG MAI

It’s been almost 9 months since I went to Thailand and I still have to think of it so often. I was going through my photos the other day and found all these ones, already edited but never posted. I took them at the Flower Festival in Chiang Mai, we were walking around and somehow ended up behind the stage. All the dancers were getting ready for their show, clearly aware of how beautiful and sparkly their dresses and decorations looked like and I just couldn’t stop photographing. So here we go, another throwback to Thailand.

LIFE RECENTLY PART 3

Autumn is over, winter is here, not so happy about that but that still doesn’t stop me from getting out there as much as possible. The last weeks were so busy and packed with deadlines, papers and tests but also birthday dinners, long walks and nightly bike rides and I just thought about giving a quick update on what’s going on in my life. (And no, totally not to justify this massive lack of posts on the blog… Maybe a bit..)

A trip to the IJ Hallen flea market every couple of months is obligatory and so I went again, obviously on the windiest day in a long long time, where even the bike ride to the ferry felt like a cross fit workout. But it was worth it, the day was all about buying 1‚ā¨-bargains, eating poffertjes in the rain and strolling around the market, with a good friend and a not-so-good cup of coffee.
Autumn was beautiful in Amsterdam, I fell in love with the city all over again. It was so idyllic, so pretty, it sometimes seemed a bit unreal. Cycling along the canals, facing the October sun and everything is golden, sitting outside caf√®s, drinking tea and going for walks in the park. I am so glad I took enough time off studying and just went and enjoyed the city and the beautiful weather while it lasted. 
The first time I saw Alt-J live was this summer, at the Hurricane festival, it was pouring rain and almost midnight but it was simply unforgettable. The second time was some weeks ago and this time we could actually see something of the show. One of the best nights this year and definitely a sign to go to concerts more often.
More walks around the city, more discovering cute cafes and neighbourhoods and a perfect weekend spent at home. Seems like that’s all my life is about right now but really, the hours and hours spent in the library and in front of my laptop are just not worth photographing…
It took some weeks but dorm life has definitely won me over. It’s all about those (obligatory) elevator selfies, spontaneous Sunday morning pancake parties, late night tea sessions, weekly potluck dinners and simply just spending so much time together.

So here we go, The past weeks seemed to kind of flash by in a minute with so much happening, so much going on. And I have to say I enjoy every second of this busy time, after a laid-back (and sometimes quite boring) summer… I feel like this is how life is supposed to be: full of events, deadlines, parties, dinners, bike rides, presentations, gym sessions, fun, exams and every now and then an evening spent watching a good movie. I am so excited for everything that is to come!

HOTSPOT: ANNA & NINA – DE PIJP

I took these photos a while ago, when I was exploring De Pijp and all its cute little stores and boutiques so now, that I’m trapped in the Uni on a Friday afternoon (and this one time not because of a deadline or my workload but because of one of those Dutch storms that don’t want you to step outside…) I have some time to finally post them.

Anna & Nina is another one of those adorable and super stylish concept stores you find scattered all around Amsterdam that are stuffed with things like cool mugs, picture frames and nice little bracelets. Probably not a place where you’d go shopping on a weekly basis but definitely perfect if you’re looking for a nice present, souvenir or that one piece that can make your room look like one you’d find in a Scandinavian interior magazine. Almost.
ANNA & NINA // Gerard Doustraat 94
And thanks so much to all of you supporting my last post, definitely inspired and motivated me to post a bit more like this. Also, there’ll be a life update post soon again, thinking about doing that on a regular basis to keep you a bit updated about what’s been going on in my life over the past weeks and obviously to make a proper use of all my phone photos that otherwise would never make it on my blog.

Seems like it stopped raining, or at least like I could make it home without getting totally soaked. So here’s a nice song for you, enjoy your weekend!

LUNCH AND DINNER IDEAS (MOSTLY VEGAN) – EASY HEALTHY & CHEAP

It’s been a while since my last post, I could say I am super busy again and have no time but really, I just don’t feel like spending so much time at my laptop (especially when that’s what I’m doing all day anyways, but for writing papers instead of posts). Anyways, I promised you to write a bit more about what I eat and cook so here we go, a little bit about what I usually have for lunch or dinner, that is when I’m not taking snacks to uni or having amazing potluck dinners with my friends.

My daily diet is mostly plant based. There are several reasons why I do that, but I guess this is not really the place to discuss that. I spent so much time watching documentaries and youtube videos that I just have decided for myself that eating mostly vegan is what is best for me. When I say mostly I mean that I don’t believe in extremes, I believe that you should give your body what it needs, and when this is some pancakes on a Sunday morning brunch with your friends after a night out then that’s okay. And when you just feel like having some creamy milk foam on your coffee then that’s cool. Or when your mom makes a delicious veggie lasagna with cheese then enjoy it as long as you can, before going back to your student meals. I just believe that the benefits of eating about 99% plant based are so clearly exceeding the reasons to eat animal products (health-, environmental-wise and ethically) that I just decided to give it a try for a while (apart from some exceptions, such as curd cheese/quark, which I seriously love so much).
I go grocery shopping once or twice a week, and I then get all the stuff I know I need for the week. ¬†I would usually cram my basket with many many veggies (zucchinis are my favourite, they are sooooo easy to prepare!, eggplants, bell peppers, beetroot (!!!), avocado, mushrooms, tomatoes, frozen broccoli/cauliflower and spinach, some salad etc etc) many many fruits (Bananas, always, and then whatever is on season or on sale. Also, I always have frozen berries for my smoothies) and then I get lentils, chickpeas, butternut, sweet potatoes, hummus, bulgur, couscous… at the Turkish supermarket. Every now and then I also buy quinoa, quark/curd cheese, feta, fresh bread at the market… Whatever comes into my mind or what I need for recipes. Even though I know what I like, what is cheap and easy to prepare I try to be a bit flexible so it won’t get boring.
When I’m short on time my lunch would be a huuuuge bowl or plate packed with veggies and some carbs (I usually prepare a massive amount of either quinoa or bulgur or couscous at the beginning of the week, which I just add to my meals). In case I’m planning to spend my lunchtime at the uni I’d prepare my meal the night before, my favourite is beet root-bulgur salad with chickpeas! I just can’t be bothered to pay 5‚ā¨ on a healthy lunch you get at the supermarket or cafeteria, including twice as much plastic than food and which would be twice the price of those nasty meat krokettes everyone here freaks out about. Thanks but not thanks.
LOW CARB LASAGNA
Easy “lasagna”, which is not so vegan but very light and perfect if you have friends over for dinner but don’t want to fall into a food coma afterwards: Preheat the oven, cut 2 zucchini (or eggplants) into 0.5 cm thin slices, roast them in a pan with some garlic and olive oil. Then take them out, roast some onions, add canned tomato, corn, mushrooms, whatever you fancy and stir everything. Put a layer of zucchini slices into a casserole dish, add a layer of tomato sauce and mix it with some curd cheese or cream. Then add more layers of zucchini and sauce and sprinkle it with grated cheese. Put it in the oven and wait until the cheese is melted. Doneee!

Okay, that all sounds like I’m eating super healthy and great and perfect but really, it’s not always like that. For me, the most important thing is to have a balanced and healthy diet and at the same time really really enjoy the food. I love, LOVE peanut butter and basically everything that contains chocolate so whenever we have potluck dinners or cake sales there is nothing stopping me from trying to get as much of the food as possible. But, I can really enjoy this without feeling guilty because I know that I had a delicious, fresh veggie salad for lunch and some fruit as a snack. And even though I try to eat less carbs in the evening to avoid feeling super stuffed when going to bed, I make sure I get enough energy and carbs in the morning and for lunch by eating loooooads of fruit and oatmeal and other stuff. You see, it’s really all about the balance. I love trying out healthy recipes, love to experiment with “super foods” such as chia seed, spirulina and coconut oil and love to watch videos about others peoples diets. But I also really love to treat myself every now and then.

 

HEALTHY FRIED “RICE”
Okay okay another “low carb” dish, I just want to share this one with you because I think it’s so great and perfect for everyone who misses fried Thai rice as much as me but tries not to have rice too often: wash a cauliflower, grate it in a kitchen machine, almost done. Seriously, it’s that easy! You can then do with your “rice” whatever you want to but one of my favourite ways to prepare it is to fry it with onions in some olive oil, add veggies of your choice, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, or spice it up with chili powder. Also, you can easily freeze portions of it to have a quick healthy meal in your freezer for when you just can’t be bothered to get groceries.

 

Okay this is it, for now. Pleaseplease let me know what you think of posts like these. And also, I’ll really try to post a bit more frequently. But at the moment, I am just really living my life. A super super busy life full of deadlines, group projects, morning walks in the park and coffee breaks with friends. With bike rides in the rain, long gym sessions and long research paper sessions, and movie nights.

AMSTERDAM OUD WEST – GOLDEN HOUR

A field trip to De Hallen in Amsterdam Oud West turned out to be the perfect opportunity to explore the neighbourhood a bit, enjoy the beautiful golden October light and discover new hotspots.

 

 

 

After spending some time around De Hallen, taking notes and photos for a group project, (last two photos are taken there) I walked around the streets of the neighbourhood and found this cute little place called The Breakfast Club. Unfortunately it was already closed (I guess it’s called Breakfast Club for a reason, and not only to praise the amazing movie), so I couldn’t take any photos inside but the light was so beautiful and the orange-reddish houses were reflected in the huge windows so I just took some photos from the outside. Definitely a great reason to come back, though. Exploring this neighbourhood reminded me of how many more places, streets, cafes, I haven’t seen yet in Amsterdam and how much more often I should just go, take my bike and cycle through this beautiful, beautiful city. This city often seems so unreal, so idyllic. Sometimes, when I’m on my bike, cycling along the canals, crossing bridges and watching the tiny boats floating towards the setting sun I just can’t help but feeling like I’m in a scene taken from a movie. I am just so glad I chose this city to be my home for the next years.

HOTSPOT: PLUK AMSTERDAM – 9 STRAATJES

The 9 Straatjes are probably the closest it can get to a paradise for people who love concept stores and stylish cafés like me. There is literally one cool place next to another but it was definitely love on first sight when I came across Pluk Amsterdam!

 

Not only it’s offering an abundance of healthy stuff like smoothies, salads and juices it also sells the cutest interior and kitchen accessories (obviously to a price that comes close to New York or London prices but then again it’s christmas soon, right?), I just couldn’t stop picturing all these cute unique bowls and vases in my kitchen. The place itself is simply perfect, super cosy but bright and fresh and with a gallery in the back from which you can look down on the bustling downstairs.
We enjoyed a nice iced coffee and Chai latte outside on the bench in front of the store/cafe on the sidewalk (very very Dutch), watching the people passing by and enjoying the lively atmosphere. Even though the 9 Straatjes are quite touristic it’s nothing compared to Dam Square or Red Light District so if you’re around don’t miss it. And don’t miss having a break at Pluk, either!

HOTSPOT: FELICE HOME OF BRANDS – DE PIJP

Continuing my little series about concept stores in De Pijp with this super cool place called “Felice Home Of Brands”.

 

Okay seriously, the interior design is beyond perfect. It’s exactly how I would want my dream apartment to be like: a mix of concrete- and brick walls, clean but with nice little details. Oh well… All these concept stores inspire me way too much. But this one is definitely worth a visit, also if you’re looking for a nice present or even nicer Scandinavian-style pieces for your wardrobe.
Felice Home Of Brands // Gerard Doustraat 88 HS
I am drowning in work again and my cold and the 3 degrees outside aren’t really helping either. The only way of making it through the week is an abundance of fresh ginger-lemon-tea, occasional walks in the park wrapped up like an early christmas present, cosy dinners with friends and the thought of reading week next week, meaning I’ll get to go home for a bit. That is, after my Logic exam. Yay.
Oh and please please please listen to this beautiful remix. I was actually looking for the original version of “Wait” by M83 (which is also worth listening!!) but found this one, isn’t it beautiful?

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