Monthly Archives: October 2009

My hair is absolutely GORGEOUS! After a few hours at the salon I finally have these massive locks coming off my shoulders. The effect is nothing short of stunning!

I’ve never been blessed with full, thick hair. Instead I have fine, Scandinavian hair which turned even thinner after the pregnancy, as I lost lots of hair. The good news is it’s all growing back, but it’s going to take some six months before it’s at a decent lenght. So I have been doing some research on hair extensions, and luckily my wonderful and one-and-only hairdresser Pierot in Haarlem does it!  They use a system from Balmain, which is very gentle to the hair and does not involve the more older and damaging braiding technique.

The extensions will last for 3-4 months and after taken out one can add new ones again without damaging the hair. I must say I think this could easily become an addiction, like the manicures!

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Balmain Hairextensions

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Yasel is working my hair

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Yasel is fixing the extensions with a fusing device….looks a bit suspect 😉

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Very happy after Maurice put his magic scissor through my hair

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Almost done…

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Et voila!

When autumn hits, it often means a change in routines. As the clock goes back, my alarm goes forward by another 15 minutes, which is extra sleep I need in the darkness that envelopes the mornings. I eat more (to my horror I’ve gained 2 kg’s which is now added to the 3 kg’s that I still need to loose from the pregnancy) and I train less (I’m trying to counter this imbalance with 4 dance sessions a week). But there are also more subtle changes, of which one I noted this morning; the use of stockings. Now I’m an old fashioned gal, the one that likes perfectly manicured, red nails and high heels. And so I also like stockings. They’re not only practical (if one of them breaks at least you have the other one left), but they also slim your thighs. They suck them in and holds them firm in position. Now this is all well and fine if it wasn’t for the bum. Before the pregnancy my butt was still pretty pert, forming two vertical hills on my rear side. This is naturally no longer. I put on my first stockings but instead of accentuating my booty, it hangs over the end of the stockings like something formless spilling over a shelf. I’m gutted! I put on another pair, which looks in fact better as they have a broader lace, but one of these (very expensive!) stockings have a run in them, and I’m left with the decision of wearing broken stockings that makes my buttocks look nice or wearing the new, perfect (but less expensive) stockings that produce the opposite effect.

I hate wearing broken clothes (needless to say I was never a fan of the ripped jeans trend), so I opt for the whole stockings with a nasty butt. I do device a strategy though. As I tighten the buttocks they lift slightly and improve the overall results. And so I decide to go with clenched buttocks all day. This and all days to come, because I’m already plotting a booty overhaul!

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I am sitting here in bed, at 9 am on a workday I might add, with a cup of coffee whilst reading the news. When did that happen last? There is an explanation to this however. Last night I was putting together a small soiree. The house looked like a mess and I admittedly bribed Victoria to clean up the house. She was going to get 5 euros for this little job. I returned to my computer, happy to know the wellness of the house was in the safe hands of my 11 year old daughter. 10 minutes later Victoria takes her first break. She goes and fetches an ice lolly and places herself in front of the TV. I am sitting in the same room – our dining room doubling as an improvised office.
“But Victoria you are surely not ready yet! “ I exclaim.
“I’m just taking a break” she says, firing off a quick smile and then turning to something vastly more interesting on the TV screen. I let it go for the time. I’m too engrossed in some excel sheets I’ve been struggeling with for the past hours. After her ice lolly is consumed, she goes onto do some more chores. 5 minutes later my daughter announces that she is finished.
“But you can’t be!” I look at the dirty dishes that are on the table and I know that the dishwasher hasn’t been emptied either.
My daughter is of a completely different opinion and when she can’t have her way i.e. get 5 euros for a rather quick and dirty job, she starts screaming at me. We enter into an argument and as quick-fix remedy allowing myself to get on with my own work, I send her upstairs. All said and done. Calm is descending once again, although I have to block out of my mind that the kitchen is a mess.

But it only takes a couple of minutes before I receive an SMS from my daughter. It’s sweet, and my motherly heart melts and I tell her to come downstairs. Perhaps I shouldn’t have. The moment my daughter appears in the doorway the bickering starts over the 5 euros, which I am not prepared to pay for such a haphazard job. Once again voices are raised and I send Victoria upstairs for the second time, this time I tell her she can make herself soup for dinner as she won’t be having sushi with us in the evening. The girl is reduced to tears, but she makes her soup and goes upstairs. It’s now close to 6.30 pm and our guest is arriving at 7.  I quickly wrap up what I have to do and go upstairs to check on Sebastian. I can hear Victoria from her room and I call for her. Victoria agrees to finish the cleaning, which I now negotiate down to 3 euros, and I continue with getting ready.


At 7.20 our guest arrives. I love when people are fashionably late. In fact I can’t stand people being on time. It’s not only rude, common and cheap, but it also puts me in a bad mood as I have to do household chores whilst entertaining. A hostess worst nightmare.

I haven’t seen N in something like eight years. Time flies, but she hasn’t changed a bit and is still the epitome of French chic as I remember her. N immediately fires off a story about the Champagne that she’s brought. which starts off a string of anecdotes. When MJ and Reinout arrives we settle over a sushi covered table, but the conversation doesn’t stop there. It’s a very colourful evening, and the stories are fun, worthy a sequel of Sex and the City – le Film. MJ keeps interrupting pointing out the blog worthiness of these stories, comprising of personal anecdotes and memoirs and I can only agree. It’s brilliant!

It’s my own paltry experiences on steroid. I love N. I haven’t really had the time to get to know her before, but she’s the type of woman I greatly admire. Perhaps because those qualities she posses are in fact qualities of mine, albeit mine in a somwhat lesser league. I hope I will see her soon. I haven’t enjoyed such a good conversation in a long, long time….

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Morning after

I haven’t been on my best blogging behaviour in the past few days, I know. Even though the weekend provided ample opportunity for blogging, the prospect of a computer free weekend was far too tempting. And as the power supply also broke down, I had a good excuse. It was the first weekend in…let’s say months…that I wasn’t hanging over my Mac. Something my family wholeheartedly supported. And I also came to a revelation of my own…as much as I thrive on my work discipline I need to become more disciplined in taking my rest too. Relax and have fun. So there’s no more watching films with a Mac on my lap. There will be no more weekends slipping in some work between household chores and family activities.Those days are now over!

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I love those Sunday afternoons….

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In the forest wirh my family

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My husband was in his best mood 🙂

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…Victoria too. Check out the bull in the background!

There is so much I want to write about. It’s mostly about intuition. Good intuition. But I’m also somewhat superstitious. If you really feel something good is about to come true, won’t the opposite happen? Or perhaps it’s just that I finally feel I have a routine on things….I’m in control. But control is about the moment, because that is in essence the only thing we will manage to exercise control over….the Moment.

It’s been a shift of mindset, or perhaps rather going back to a nature that was always there, but had been lost for some time. If I now look back at my blog entries I see that a year ago I was struggling to gain that control. In many ways I challenged myself, breaking myself down to the smallest components I possibly could (without loosing grip on reality) and started from there. Piece by piece. It was a winding road, never really sure what was lurking around the corner.  I’m still not, hence control is most relative. But I have a map which guides me. It’s nothing more that a simple list of goals for the year which I made during my holiday.

Who knows, perhaps by the end of the year I will be somewhere halfway to achieving my goals, and that’s not bad. Because after all if you want to reach the moon, then you must go for the stars.

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It’s already half past eleven and I am not sticking to my internal promise to be in bed by 11 pm. But it’s been a busy day and although I haven’t technically been working the whole day as there’s been time for a quick lunch in town and dinner in the evening it’s been pretty much non-stop action. Right now I’m on some kind of work wave. I have given up TV and I wake up early to be at the gym by 7.30 am. From there on the day unfolds until late. I must say I don’t like meetings but I love working on projects and simply getting things done, so the days tend to be run by action items. I have some higher goals for this year and although I won’t reveal them here and now they shall be part of my synopsis in a few months from now.

Well it’s time for bed now. With only 4 hours of sleep from last night I can hardly keep my eyes open.

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My beautiful Victoria

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Reading Glamour whilst waiting for lunch at Fortuyn, Haarlem

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…and of course our little sweetie was joining

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Goatcheese sallad for lunch

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Victoria had a Tosti

I love when days are just flying by, their beginning and end seamlessly connected. That’s when you feel you actually accomplished something. It reminds me of one of the rules of the garage from HP “Make a contribution every day. If it doesn’t contribute, it doesn’t leave the garage.” It’s a rule I’ve been giving a fair bit of thought as of late, when time is of essence and goals and objectives are not always defined. It’s certainly a good day-by-day measurement to ask oneself, before closing that laptop: Did I really make a contribution?

It brings me back to those HP days. It’s almost with a naive reminiscence that I look back on those years. It was the beginning of my career and I felt I had the world in my hands. In many ways I did. We all did. Because we had the privilege to work in an environment that where all about the people. Not about the product but the people, the ones bringing a service and the ones getting one. In many ways it was ahead of its time, and in others it was sadly left behind a world whose goals were simply short sighted and money driven.

I recall those days around the millennium when Carly Fiorina introduced the Rules of the Garage as part of the new HP Way. Like so many of my colleagues, I adorned my cubicle with the A4 poster. I would often catch a glimpse of one of those rules, letting them tickle my mind, painting the nuances of an already existing vision.

The day after I’d left HP, I regretted it.
It was a regret that has been lingering until that of recent. But now, as I finally feel free to pursuit my dreams and visions, I once again turn to the rules of the garage. And so behold of the first commandment: Believe you can change the world. Do I need to say more?

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The thing with having a digital camera is that you take so many pictures. In a way I miss having the old fashioned photo albums. Those carried memories for life, invaluable, whereas their digital versions are forgotten as soon as the picture was downloaded to some anonymous folder. Well digital version in all honour, here are some more pictures from Saturday in Paris. Needless to say a lot of shopping 🙂

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We stayed at Hotel St Germain des Pres

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Lunch at the renowned Cafe de Flore

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Reinout having lunch

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…and Sebastian too

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Twighlight was settling over the church

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Shopping for bargains in a vintage clothing boutique

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I met up with Reinout for wine before dinner

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At Da Rosa’s on rue de Seine

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In my new outfit

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Amazing restaurant at which we got our own secluded room

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Bought books…

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Turtle neck and skirt Tara Jarmon, shoes Dior

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Vintage dress from Jean Paul Gaultier

Paris in autumn is fantastic. It doesn’t matter if it’s windy and rainy, because with a cafe or bistro around every corner, you don’t have to ever risk getting too wet or cold. Reinout and I have been strolling around with Sebastian, shopping, eating and drinking. In short perfect for a small city break. Now we’re home again, but it’s not unlikely we are going back very soon.

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Raiding the minibar

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Late night take-away on Rue de Seine

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Love J’s appartment in St Germain

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J was proudly sporting the latest footwear

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R +J

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= Forever

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The boogeyman

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Sweet

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Pain is the game

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…well some sort of game anyway

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Friday evening

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Atomospheric

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…We’re coming back soon!

Yes, what can go wrong will go wrong! We were suppose to leave early in the morning. But one of our appointments got cancelled for today so we are left with only two (I know I’m being somewhat secretive about these appointments but it shall be disclosed soon). In any case we left later in the afternoon. The journey was not too bad although we hit a few traffic jams along the way. As we were approaching our destination called Ennery, some 35 km outside of Paris we started to have some doubts as to what kind of hotel this really was, as the terrain turned into an industrial landscape. It took us a good half an hour before we finally found it. The road was winding and some obscure houses and businesses could be found scattered along the way. When we finally arrived the court yard was completely empty. Not one car, not one hotel room being lit up. Strange we thought for being only 8 in the evening. Reinout and I circled around the building which was imposing but had a somewhat menacing aura to it. The door was locked and the code I had been given didn’t work. There was no door bell to be found either. Reinout and looked at each other, and one look said enough. This was not the welcome we had expected.
My husband was annoyed, Buddy was restless and I was hungry. So in the end we checked into a Novotel. Not exactly the 5 star experience we had expected, but at least you know what you are getting.

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What the fuck am I doing here?

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I’m in a better mood

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But so was Reinout when food arrived

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In the hotel room working away