Saturday, December 20, 2014

Fitness: A month of Yoga

A couple of months ago, Laura and I decided that we want to try out yoga, since we both aren't very flexible and often have cramps because of all the running and other sports we do. So, we signed up for a two hour introduction class at a local yoga studio, Yoga Dreams in Zaandam. After the introduction class we could try out every class for a month.

So what exactly is yoga? I was kinda scared for a room full with girls in very stretchy clothes, trying to tie themselves into impossible knots. I was wrong. There were lots of different people, which is fun. We first learned what Yoga is; Yoga is a series of very precise body weight postures and movements which are designed to improve the body in important areas.There are LOTS of poses, focusing on different goals to develop both strength and flexibility at the same time.
Along with those poses there's a lot of breathing going on. Breath in, breath out. Controlling and optimizing your breath is very important to do proper yoga.

During our introduction class we learned a lot about breathing, we did some basic poses, pretty manageable. We also learned about all the different kinds of yoga classes they give at the studio. They have lots of options. We learned that yoga is a chance to relax and treat yourself right, to fix your neglected and over used body and prepare for the next challenge. That sounds pretty good, right? Since I've started CrossFit, not a week goes by without sore muscles and I could use some more stretching.

So after our introduction class, we got together to see what classes we'd like to take: We decided to do neck, back and shoulder yoga, since we both have stiff shoulders from work. We also wanted to do Ashtanga Vinyasa (Power Yoga) and Kundalini.

Okay. So we did all of these classes and I liked Ashtanga Vinyasa best. We did the Basic class and we did lots of poses for strength and balance. I liked it because it wasn't as vague as I thought it would be. We also did classes where we had to focus on our 3th eye (wait, my what?), stuff like that just doesn't work for me. At the end of each class we had a relaxing exercise, controlling your breathing and focussing on your body relaxing. It was a bit too relaxed for me, because each time I almost fell asleep!

In the end I really believe yoga could be good for you, very good. I noticed my posture was better after a yoga class, all the stretching helped me with my sore muscles from CrossFit. But, I'm not continuing my yoga experience. I'm just to busy. A full time job, CrossFit 3 evenings a week, keeping up this blog and name paintings business, Yoga would be too much. Our teacher would disagree of course, it could be just what I need. One hour to relax and just think of me. And you know what, maybe she is right (but when?).

Friday, December 19, 2014

Project Life: Week 44 & 45

Week 44 - left page
Week 44 - right page
Week 44 - full spread
Week 45 - left page
Week 45 - right page
Week 45 - full spread

Thursday, December 18, 2014

DIY: Jar of hearts by Bee Creativities

Shannon from Bee Creativities gave me this super cute Jar of Hearts. She explains how she made it on her blog, so if you're curious just visit Bee Creativities!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hotspots: Markthal Rotterdam & Firma Pickles

Last sunday I went to Rotterdam to meet Michelle from Studentenvoer, we've been following each other for about 1,5 year on Instagram. We had breakfast at De Ontbijtbar, followed by a bootcamp session by The Bootcamp Club. It was super fun. After a shower Michelle showed me around Rotterdam, so of course we went to the Markthal (market hall). We had lunch at Firma Pickles, I had a super tasty burger! So, time to share some photos of the market hall and the burger!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Recipe: Rice cracker toppings #02

A new week, so time for more inspiration for your rice crackers! I'm sharing three more toppings today, all super tasty and perfect for lunch. Click here for Rice cracker toppings #01.

01. Salmon and spinach:
Whenever we cook with smoked salmon (a pasta or a salad), I make sure I save some slices to put on my rice cracker the next day! It always feels like a little treat when I eat this!

On this cracker from the bottom to the top:
  • Cottage cheese
  • Fresh spinach leaves
  • Smoked salmon slices
  • Dill
  • Black pepper
  • Capers
  • Roasted pine nuts

02. Dutch cheese and tomatoes:
A real Dutch topping. As a Dutch girl myself, I couldn't leave this one out! It's super simple but delicious, I often have one of these when I'm hungry after an hour of yoga or CrossFit.

On this cracker from the bottom to the top:
  • Dutch (Gouda) cheese
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Rocket
  • Pine nuts

03. Goat cheese and walnuts:
You probably all know I looooove goat cheese, so this topping won't come as a surprise right?

On this cracker from the bottom to the top:
  • Soft goat cheese
  • Black pepper
  • Honey
  • Walnuts
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Rocket

That's it! More rice cracker topping inspiration next week. Please let me know if you try any of my recipes by tagging me in your photos or using the #bydaintydream hashtag on Instagram. I'm super curious what you think of them!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

My December TBR pile

In December I like to stay indoors, I just don't like the cold, the rain, snow.. I'm made for summer. I just can't function without my daily dose of sunshine! So, I always read a lot in December, under a blanket, curled up against The Mister.
Today I want to share my December TBR pile. TBR means 'To Be Read', so in other words: These are the books I'd like to read in December.

A little bit more info about the books:

Jake Woodhouse - After the Silence (Amsterdam Quartet, #1)
A murdered policeman, a dead businessman hanging from a hook, a building burnt to the ground in an arson attack and a missing girl - identity unknown.
It's up to damaged, world-weary Inspector Jaap Rykel of Amsterdam's finest to piece it all together. Alongside him he's got an inexperienced female detective wrestling with the ghosts of her past, and a Sergeant with a drugs habit. And then there's the internal affairs investigation...

I'm really curious about this book, especially because it's set in Amsterdam. I love crime novels, so I'm having high hopes for this book. I won this signed copy at the Amsterdam Book Center.

Victoria Schwab - The Unbound (The Archived, #2)
Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

This is the second book in The Archived series. I've read the first book a while ago and this months it's time to pick this series back up!

Mark Haddon - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (in Dutch)
Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for fifteen-year-old Christopher everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbor's dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favorite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is deeply funny, poignant, and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally.

I'm super excited to read this book, since I've heard so many great things about it. I've borrowed this book from a friend who recommended it to me.