Tuesday, November 29

bye for now

skinstill will be on hold while i prepare for and get used to the new life that is awaiting me

Monday, November 28


at least four mugs a day.

Wednesday, November 23

good, beautiful, difficult

the reading continues...

karel glastra van loon ~ de passievrucht - a smoothly written and quite touching novel.
haruki murakami ~ the elephant vanishes - beautiful stories about common people in magical situations. sleep was my favourite.
harry mulisch ~ de procedure - a slightly incomprehensible but nevertheless fascinating enough novel.

Monday, November 21


i see a pattern of subtle, calming scents...

~ lush the olive branch shower gel ~ a recurring thing with certain lush products: this smells so good and comforting, but the texture is strange and very watery. i would certainly buy it again though.
~ biotherm skin vivo reversive anti-aging expansive mask ~ i got this for free with another biotherm product. i really enjoyed it: it is a rich mask with a subtle scent and it made my skin feel fresh and healthy.
~ lush dream cream hand and body lotion ~ this product moisturises very well. the scent is subtle but not very special. i finished a small container in no time at all.
~ etos lavender shower gel ~ a wonderful lavender-scent, i love it.
~ biotherm aquasource superserum ~ still a luxurious favourite.
~ weleda lavender oil ~ more lavender... i use this on my belly (please note it is not safe to use lavender oil during the first trimester of pregnancy) to calm the tense, stretchy feeling.

Thursday, November 17

unknown love

waiting to see
who is living inside me...

Sunday, November 13

keep calm and carry on reading

i searched the shelves for books that still stood unread, and found a few dutch books that belong to boyfriend standing almost hidden between all my own books. i pretty much raced through them this past week, for lack of the ability to do many other significant things.

gerrit komrij ~ de klopgeest - i enjoyed this one, mainly because of the vivid picture it paints of amsterdam during a significant transitional period.
a. koolhaas ~ de geluiden van de eerste dag - an incredibly sad book, it left me all melancholy and irritable (or maybe that was just due to pregnancy hormones).
harry mulisch ~ het theater, de brief en de waarheid - a better and more accessible read than most of the other books by this writer that i have read.

now i'm off to hunt for more unread treasures...

Tuesday, November 8


something to look at and enjoy: a big bunch of beautiful roses from friends.

Friday, November 4

the sense of an ending

this one was a present from the same friend who gave me starter for ten. he obviously knows me well.

we live in time - it holds us and moulds us - but i've never felt i understood it very well.

julian barnes ~ the sense of an ending

Tuesday, November 1

starter for ten

after reading a pretty worthless book that is really not even worth mentioning - well, ok, it was hoop (hope) by roland van der vorst, a semi-scientific investigation into the concept of hope - i have now started on a good novel that i received as a present last week.

Saturday, October 29


~ weleda pregnancy oil ~ i've already sampled quite a few big-belly-oils and creams, but this one remains my favourite. it's all natural and has a subtle scent.
~ weleda almond oil ~ i love using oils for removing make up, and this one is very nice.
~ the body shop vitamin c eye reviver duo ~ the concept is appealing: a gel to apply under the eyes with a roller and a cream to apply all around. but the cream especially feels quite aggressive.
~ rituals mei dao organic white lotus and yi yi ren body cream ~ this was a present, and it feels so luxurious that i wouldn't buy it so easily for myself. i absolutely love the scent, it somehow makes me think of the beach and of summer.
~ l'oréal collagen filler eyes ~ i guess this is the sort of product that can never achieve what it promises. at least i couldn't detect any difference.
~ kneipp citrus chamomile body lotion ~ nice and fresh, but the texture is a bit weird.

Monday, October 24

the old way

i am trying to spend my time lying on the couch with my bulging belly wisely... so here is a work of anthropology, describing the life of one of the last hunter-gatherer societies on earth: it is an extremely interesting and, as an added benefit, somehow a very relaxing read. there is so, so much to learn from this forgotten way of life.

Thursday, October 20


after fairly fighting my way through the work of a dutch philosopher, i am now ready for something quite different: a bit of nabokov.

Tuesday, October 18

la simplicité fait la beauté

france, one year ago. the simplest form of perfect and happy.

Saturday, October 15

paper and flowers

a fancy day. leafing through old vogues, looking at the roses and admiring my new diary.

Thursday, October 13


i think i have found a new love. sabon seems to be a luxurious yet straightforward brand with the most beautiful packagings. the vanilla hand cream was a gift, as was the vanilla body lotion. the face mask (yes, also vanilla-scented) was a gift to myself.

Sunday, October 9


i mainly finished products to help soothe my body that is so busy growing a little baby. while he is kicking away inside (which is the most amazing feeling), I try to minimalise any damage on the outside…
~ zwitsal mama firming body gel-cream ~ while I usually love the scent of all the products from this brand, I really did not like the smell of this one. somehow it reminded me of the way products start to smell when they are getting past their sell-by date.
~ palmer’s body lotion anti-stretch marks ~ i liked this one a lot better, a pity it did not last very long.
~ lush buffy body butter ~ finished two of them this time… they really work wonders on legs and bums. the only thing holding me back from going on using them at this pace is the price tag.
~ montagne jeunesse white chocolate face mask ~ i had high hopes for this one, but it was just ok.
~ biotherm aquasource moisturiser ~ i have been using this moisturiser on and off for years, and i always love the luxurious texture and scent of it.
~ lush honey trap lip balm ~ you can’t go wrong with a lush lip balm. lasts for ages, works well and smells heavenly.

Thursday, October 6

brideshead revisited

on to the next one: rereading an old favourite.

i should like to bury something precious in every place where i've been happy and then, when i was old and ugly and miserable, i could come back and dig it up and remember.

evelyn waugh ~ brideshead revisited

Monday, October 3

a room with a view

i have finally made my way through the children's book (eventually, i actually found it quite gripping) and moved on to a novel that i have been wanting to read for a long time, if only for the title - i have a thing with the image of views through windows.

Saturday, October 1

things that made me smile today

~ being outside in the warmth and the sun with the summerlike sounds from neighbouring gardens (on the first day of october...)
~ getting things done, however small and seemingly insignificant
~ learning to take it day by day (or even hour by hour, if need be)
~ fresh figs
~ a clean house (courtesy of boyfriend)

Wednesday, September 28

something small

i love finding samples in magazines. it's like getting a little present.

Saturday, September 24

as it is

i love photo reports like this one - a collection of little belgian beach huts and their inhabitants: honest depictions of everyday people in their everyday lives. so simple yet so much to see and to think about. (the pictures were taken by dutch photographer annie van gemert.)

Friday, September 23

still life

who knew that doing absolutely nothing could be such hard work...

Wednesday, September 21

the children's book~two

it is growing on me, thankfully, although i'm still going through it at a snail's pace.

maybe all steps into the future drew strength from a searching gaze into the deep past.

a.s. byatt ~ the children's book

Tuesday, September 20


this is the notebook i used for writing down ideas and texts for skinstill. a pretty little book that boyfriend bought for me in scotland. one year down the line, all the pages are full. good thing i love new beginnings, even if they are only small ones.

Saturday, September 17

passing time

basically, for lack of anything more exciting, the highlights of the previous few days were the beautiful films i watched: juno, girl with a pearl earring, tillsammans (together), entre les murs (the class), the king's speech, lars and the real girl. i recommend each and every single one.

Wednesday, September 7

the children's book

i felt in need of something magical and otherworldly. but so far, i do not like it very much: too many characters and too many byways. the intricacy, which is no doubt very clever, is working against it for me. but i still have over five hundred pages to go, so who knows what wonderful things lie ahead.

Monday, September 5

at home again

i finished this epos yesterday. i can't begin to imagine how much effort and research must have gone into writing it. i learned so many interesting things, it really amazes me.

Thursday, September 1

pretty vintage fabrics

this silly thing made me very happy: i typed pretty vintage fabrics in google images and i got so much moodlifting prettiness to look at. yeah, i think i've mentioned before that i am easily made happy. (and now i'll stop taking pictures of my bed cover.)

Monday, August 29


half a year has passed since i took this picture of all our stuff packed in boxes in the tiny house. it feels like a different world now. isn't it unbelievable how lives can change by the making of just one decision.

Sunday, August 28

lazy sunday

here's someone else who loves the new bed cover.

Saturday, August 27


i mostly finished lush products this month. and i loved every single thing that i used up (photographed on my cute new bed cover).

~ lush breath of fresh air facial toner ~ a nice and simple, refreshing toner. i already bought a new one, that's how much i liked it.
~ biotherm aquasource superserum ~ this is the most expensive beauty product that i occasionally buy. very much worth it though.
~ the body shop shea body butter ~ i find most body shop body butters a bit too sweet, but this one is just perfect, with a wonderful buttery texture.
~ lush buffy body butter ~ this is the best body butter ever. works wonders on bums and legs especially, they have never been smoother.
~ lush turkish delight shower smoothie ~ so luxurious...
~ lush grease lightning tea tree spot treatment ~ a good and gentle spot treatment gel.

Wednesday, August 24

at home

five hundred pages on the history of domestic life (and quite funny too). just what i love.

Tuesday, August 23

sort of artistic

i actually made art. so much fun to do.

Thursday, August 11

three ingredients

how to spend a tired afternoon: bed, book, cat.

Tuesday, August 9

the book of tomorrow

a lovely read.
you shouldn't try to stop everything from happening. sometimes you're supposed to feel awkward. sometimes you're supposed to be vulnerable in front of people. sometimes it's necessary because it's all part of you getting to the next part of yourself, the next day.
cecelia ahern ~ the book of tomorrow

Monday, August 8

where is the sun

the summer is raining away just like that. well, i guess i make the most of it by curling up on the couch with lots of books and by not missing the few rays that i can actually catch...

Sunday, August 7


i pledge to eat more fruit. what's not to love...

Tuesday, August 2

digital havens

i love to visit random blogs every now and then, discovering wonderful, surprising and touching places. i am amazed by the countless numbers of people dedicating time and effort to the creation of little digital worlds of their own. it is a notion that makes me happy and hopeful.

Thursday, July 28

despite the rain

i bought all this beautiful fruit for myself, and i can't even begin to explain how happy it makes me feel. yes, i am easily made happy.

Tuesday, July 26


boyfriend decided to expose our camera to the infamous irish rain. not a good idea. i use the camera on my phone now...

these are mostly products that were left partly finished some time ago, and that i finally emptied these last few days.

~ weleda birch shower peeling ~ this smells really nice, but i found it a bit too gentle to really do anything for my skin.
~ de traay shower cream rose ~ ok, but nothing special.
~ inecto moisturising face mask ~ smells strongly of coconut (i love that) and goes a long way.
~ zwitsal soft cream ~ this is actually for babies, but i like it a lot as a body cream.
~ l'oréal thickening shampoo ~ seems to work quite well.
~ sebastian matte putty ~ an expensive hair texturiser that i bought at the hair salon. i will definitely get regular drugstore stuff again from now on, because this was not worth it.

Thursday, July 21

one hundred

one hundred posts. i can't believe how fast that went.

Monday, July 18

by myself

i have two weeks off work. i watch the beauty of the tour de france, i take afternoon naps and walks into town to buy little things that i have been wanting to get for myself for a long time. i cook simple meals, i read a hundred pages a day that have been left unread on the shelves for ages. i dive into the sun when it shows up from behind the rainy clouds for a few minutes at a time. such simple luxuries.

Sunday, July 17


years and years ago, i was in switzerland with my father. we were walking through a very green landscape, when all of a sudden this grand hotel appeared like a fata morgana, with pale pink plaster, standing all by itself among fir trees and mountains. it had been there for years, a hotspot for the lucky few of yore. i imagined aristocratic old ladies in perfect dresses sipping tea behind the balconied windows. my dad and i made a promise to one day return to spend a night at rosenlaui.

the promise was fulfilled. again, the blistered pink of the hotel building rose suddenly from around a mountain corner, and i finally stepped over the threshold. the perfect remnants of past glory greeted me inside. creaking floorboards, majestic drawing rooms with stately pieces of period furniture. the rooms were large and empty, with spare army blankets piled on the marble-topped dressers. the communal bathrooms were the icing on the fairy tale cake.

rosenlaui is a magic place to always remember for me.

Sunday, July 10


for some strange reason, i have been intrigued with these posts ever since i saw them on other blogs. so, i decided to just do it.
these are the beauty products i finished over the past few weeks.

~ montagne jeunesse skin polisher face mask ~ smells of honey, a good product.
~ hema face mask raspberry smoothie ~ mwah, not so great.
~ the body shop sweet lemon body scrub ~ loved this one, it smells great and it works well.
~ herbacin wuta chamomile handcream ~ a nice small glycerine handcream to put in your bag.
~ dr. hauschka normalizing day oil ~ i used this to take off my make up. works very well for that purpose.
~ lush oatifix fresh face mask ~ one of the best products ever. this smells so heavenly you would want to eat it.

Monday, July 4

dinner for one

so simple and so tasty. (meanwhile, the burnt smell of barbecue is pervading my living room - not quite so tasty.)

Saturday, July 2

tacky but true

remember that the things we fear the most, are the things that are most worth fighting for.

Friday, July 1

did it again

spent my money at lush...

~ turkish delight body polish
~ ocean salt facescrub
~ breath of fresh air toner
~ buffy body butter
~ the joy of jelly shower jelly
~ oatifix face mask (free because i brought back five empty containers)
~ body butter tin (free with two buffies)
~ sexy peel soap sample

now i am going to enjoy the look and scent of it all for a good hour or so.

Friday, June 24


my boss gave me these today to thank me. it made me remember how important it is to feel appreciated.

Wednesday, June 22


i guess i am not the kind of person who sticks diligently to one brand.

Sunday, June 19


sometimes i just need to do girly things...