Organice Your Relationships

Organize Your Relationships

OrganiceYourlife.com was not only founded by me to help others. It also helps me in my daily life. We all need some guidance now and then, and we all need to adjust our lives along the way. This also counts for our relationships, and it is very important to organize your relationships continuously!

Family

Humans are born in a certain family and usually do not have a choice who their parents are and who their siblings are. Sometimes they are a blessing, sometimes they are torture. Remember, the behavior of family members is beyond your control. But once you are a grown-up - or at any other point in your life - you can decide yourself if you want to spend time with them or not.

You decide yourself who you love dearly and who is special to you. It doesn't need to be direct family, but it can be nieces, nephews, far away friends, even animals can feel like family! And I know my dogs are family to me!

My God Child Navy with my previous dog Vito in New York City

READ MORE: A Dog is a party of the family

Balance is the key

Family should not feel like suffocation, but like a nice time. Giving and receiving love, attention and time should be in balance. If you give too much: you will feel drained, but receiving too much at once feels uncomfortable too. Always strive to find that balance in family life.

I made a video about how to deal with the sometimes  dreaded holidays, parties and any other interaction or gathering with your familymembers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnUfsYgzbo4&t=239s

Children

When you decide to have children (or not) you do not know what your child will develop into. You could end up having the best relationships with your children ever, but sometimes your child will have the total opposite character or vision in life. Remember that you must not expect receiving anything back from your children. It is a pure selfless act of bringing children into this World and raising them, and you are just there to nurture and educate your offspring as well as pay for everything and also put them first at all times. For some people they have children to fill a void in their own life. But once they discover that they cannot expect anything from their children they sometimes are disappointed, disgruntled or even worse: blame their children for everything that is wrong with their own life. So avoid this all by expecting little and giving what you have to give and hope for the best. If you are not planning to be totally selfless, maybe not having kids at all is a good idea otherwise both will suffer in the end.

Luckily many families have a great relationships with their children!

Grand children, nieces & nephews

Grand children is like getting a second chance that most people are very happy they get. That's why sometimes grandparents are more fun than your parents! (because they only get the good moments and not the bad moments and high bills!) The same you can say from nieces and nephews: you can be that sugar uncle or aunt who they love but who only gets the good times and usually not the difficult moments of raising a child.

I love my nephews Navy & Milo and my niece Lux!

Friends

The one thing that is great about friends is, that you can actually choose your friends! Sometimes we are sucked into draining friendships, but most of the time you can build long-lasting friendships throughout life. My best friends have been in my life for more than 25 years, and even though we sometimes don't see each other for a while, we always have video chat and messaging to stay in contact with each other! Because a good friend does not matter if they see you every day or maybe not even once in a year, but when you do see them, you continue where you left off the last time you saw each other.

 I have known Maruja and Lianne since high school!

Honest friends

Friends are there to pick you up when you are down, and to celebrate during good times. But most of all: friends are honest with you and are not just hanging out because of ulterior motives. Even if you don't like it at that moment, they will tell you their honest opinion if you are making a mistake, for which you will be thankful later on in life once you have come to your senses again ;)

 

Brainstorming with my entrepreneurial friends Maruja & Joey

READ MORE: The Circle of Five 

Organice Your Life - Circle of FiveLove

It might be a good idea stay single and work on yourself until you find a great match with someone who is worth to spend your life with. Love is give and take, in good times and bad times. It is not always roses and sunshine, but the commitment and Peace you feel once you are in a good relationship are definitely worth it. I see life and love as an every day adventure with my partner. We are making memories together that we will cherish forever and later in life reminisce about.

Dirk, Lonneke and Bane
My husband Dirk and Bane the day we adopted him from Animal Haven!

Your community

You might not realize it, but you can be a pivotal person within your community. Your community always need good people to help others. There are so many ways you can help, that you can find something that you like doing as well! The hardest thing is the first time you reach out because it is something new and unknown and can be scary. But once you have become familiar with your new "family" it will be easy to go there and you will love the impact that you can have in so many people's lives!

READ MORE: How to help the homeless on cold days

Remember this: At the end of your life you can't take anything with you in your grave, but all the wonderful memories you made with wonderful people. Make every day count.

Love, Lonneke

 


My Thanksgiving playlist

One of my favorite sayings goes: There is always, always, ALWAYS something to be thankful for. That's why Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays :) Enjoy your (hopefully free range organic) turkey, or lovely vegetarian dinner, but most of all the company of your family and/or friends.

My Thanksgiving Playlist

This Thanksgiving playlist has 10 of my favorite Thanksgiving tracks.

Thanksgiving! from MarujaRetana on 8tracks Radio.

Xoxo Maruja

p.s. Follow my work for Vocal Psychology!

First published in 2012, updated in 2019

READ MORE: Happy Thanksgiving


New York City outdoor workout with friends!

When it's Summer in NYC, for me there is n better combination than meeting with friends and doing a New York City outdoor workout! One time, our dear friends Ricardo Baldin and Jeanette Linderberg, joined my love Fabio Nunes and I for a nice week of training and eating good food.  I get to see them only once in a while, so it was another reason to really enjoy our time together.

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Fabio and Ricardo at the Elevated Acre in the financial district NYC.

Ways to work out outdoors in New York City

There are a LOT of ways to do a New York City outdoor workout:  biking, playing ball, skating, running. And there are a lot of places to do it so too!

After a great smoothie in the morning, we all went for a cardio training that takes only 15 minutes of your time! The goal is to keep your heart rate a bit at a certain level that helps you sweat and burn fat. After all is a great way to raise your energy levels for the rest of the day.

We also had a little fun doing Yoga poses ( Asanas ) and helping each other to improve our technique. We went to the Elevated Acre in the Financial District to do this workout.

 

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Eating healthy after a workout

I am proud to say that our post New York City outdoor workout meal was amazing! : Chicken legs, sweet potatoes, spinach egg whites omelet with avocado topping and arugula salad. Every single ingredient was organic and chicken was free range grade 2. All made with love and care by Fabio's talented chef hands. He is a Model Chef after all, who has cooked many delicious dinners for foodlovers around New York City :)

 

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Riding a bike in New York City

The other day, we rode city bikes and took the East River cycling route with destination: Central Park. The ride was just so enjoyable, the temperature during the day was perfect and it really got into my senses the whole experience exercising, and enjoying the view, good weather and company. We even bumped into few Brasilian friends that were doing exactly same thing as we were: two girls on their skates while the third one was running alongside them. The bike ride was about 7 miles , Uptown to Central Park, and back home with a few stops to enjoy our favorites places in the city. Like the Italian meca Eataly on 5th av and 23rd st - were we went to recharge our fuel with great food.

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When at the park it was easy to have a good time!

 

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At Central park - inspired by kids playing around - soft strenght training.

 

Outdoor work outs with friends are fun

Gather a few friends, get inspired by the good weather and push each other to reach your goals! Share your knowledge and experiences - all that, and relieving stress at the same time! Above all Summertime is here to raise our spirits in a positive vibe !! I strongly advice to stay active,  moving your body every chance you get! That's the way I'm gonna spend my next days, what about you guys ?? ;))

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Follow me and Fabio on instagram for more workouts and healthy foods:

@CarolFontaneti & @1FabioNunes

Stay focused,

XoCarol ;)

First published in 2015, updated in 2019

 


Me with Betty & Jerry

A day at the beach with friends

A spontaneous trip to the beach is a great thing to do to unwind!

A day at the Beach

Let me take you down memory lane again, as this lovely memory just popped in my head: Once upon a time many years ago when I was visiting the Netherlands for work, I went to meet top model Dewi Driegen right after the job finished. So we decided to take her dogs to the beach! This beach in Wijk aan Zee was about 35 minutes from Amsterdam, and it is famous for kite surfing. So we saw many of these kite surfers on the beach. (you can see the many kites in the air if you look closely). The dogs enjoyed it a lot, and therefore we did too!

Beach Wijk aan Zee

 

I don't have a picture of me and fellow-Dutchie Dewi unfortunately ( I do have many with her dogs Betty & Jerry). Dewi and I were just there having a good time unwinding and relaxing with the Sun on our faces while catching up. I met her through modeling (during fashion week in Milan in 2006 I believe), so we both knew what our crazy modeling lives felt like, so it was always nice to catch up.

 

Me and JerryMe with Betty & Jerry

Beach club

I am always very pleased when I go to new places and restaurants that implement organic in a very natural way. Just like beach club Aloha. The food was delicious and all organic and many healthy options. And a great mindset also:

 

Pumpkin soup at Aloha

(Ok, I did have a slice of the delicious Apple pie. but sssst, don't tell anyone!)

Eating apple pie

We had a great day!

I always loved doing spontaneous things. When your life is "organiced", you have the time to do just that. I still get stressed out when my week is planned ahead. I prefer to just go with the flow. And spontaneously visiting the beach with friends to just relax and unwind, is one of those great things that bring joy to my life! I love to visit the beaches in New York State, especially in the Fall. Because I am not a bikini-beach person, I am more of a windy-Fall-bring-your-dogs- kind of beach person :) The beaches in New York State remind me of beaches on Texel, the island in the Netherlands that we visited yearly with my family when I was a child. So I hope to visit the NY coastline here with my love, family, friends and my own dog sometime soon!

Love, Lonneke

First published on August 10th 2012, updated in 2019


Why Friends is the Best

This year marks 25 years since the first episode of the sitcom "Friends" first aired. While the 25 years celebrations are still ongoing (the anniversary was in September 2019) I just started watching a full rerun of Friends AGAIN on Netflix. I might be able to do another rerun just before the end of the year, when Friends is bound to leave the streaming service and go on to another adventure. Here I am going to explain why Friends is the Best, even after 25 years, and why I will keep watching it even when I am 80 years old!

The Storyline of Friends

Friends is about 6 friends: Rachel Greene(Jennifer Aniston) Ross Geller ( David Schwimmer) and his sister Monica Geller( Courteney Cox), Chandler Bing(Matthew Perry), Joey Tribbiani (Matt Leblanc) and Phoebe Buffett (Lisa Kudrow) who are living in New York City. It is mostly centered around a lilac colored apartment in the West Village on the corner of Grove street and Bedford street. Across the hall is a second apartment that gets a lot of air time. The friends spend a lot of time together, each have a special bond with one another, and you really see them mature in front of your eyes while we follow them in what life throws at them. Even though the storyline is a bit outrageous here and there, it is well-written by the shows creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane, and all show's main characters shine at their own times. The whole show is thought out so well, that every part is why the show is such a success and most people love to watch it over and over again!

Friends intro

First of all, the intro helps this sitcom be a success. You hear an upbeat song that is easy to sing along and you are excited to watch another episode. Even if you are watching episode after episode, I notice I do not skip the intro but let it play, as it really makes me happy every time I hear (and see ) it.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs-HbHCcK58

 

Apparently the show was going to be called differently first "Friends like us" and the theme song would be REM's Shiny Happy People":

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tl5751mttoE

As you can see this song is beautiful, but wrong. If they would have gone with this song and intro, I think it wouldn't have become such a success. Most people do not realize what an intro song does to how you perceive the rest of the show. The intro sets the tone. if the tone makes your heart make a little jump, most likely you also enjoy the rest of the show.

READ MORE: The story of the shoot for the final FRIENDS intro

Also, the lyrics (written by the Shows writers!) is like it really resonates with you.

So no one told you life was gonna be this way
Your job's a joke, you're broke
Your love life's D.O.A
It's like you're always stuck in second gear
When it hasn't been your day, your week, your month
Or even your year, but....
I'll be there for you.....

Everybody has that feeling sometimes where everything is not going well and you have to keep the Faith and keep going!
or as Monica would say:

Welcome to the real World. It sucks, you're gonna love it

My thoughs on the storyline

Partly believable. For instance, the rent of the apartment of Monica and Rachel would be so high in real life they were probably not able to afford it. But what happens to each character in career and private life can happen in real life as I have been living in NYC for over 15 years and have seen even crazier things happen to myself or my friends! New York City is a place where spontaneous things happen. You go to a meeting and you end up at a theater show. You go grocery shopping and end up joining friends to a gallery opening. Anything is possible if you do not plan but just let life happen while being in NYC. (that's what I love so much about this City!) I also love Rachel and Ross getting together, even though I think Rachel was a bit hard on Ross at times. Chandler and Monica should have started dating earlier in the series if it was up to me. Phoebe had her shining moments with her songs "Smelly Cat" and others that stay in your head... Joey's storyline was great that he was so nice and struggling in his acting career but kept going and made it! Phoebe, Rachel, Monica and Joey all struggled throughout the ten years, but kept going. This is very normal in NYC. People never give up in getting a career. Ross had a steady job and even though Chandler switched jobs, he also had a more steady income stream. But most of all: I just love how most scenes happen at their cosy home. This is how I love my life too: with my best friends spending quality time at home!

Friends reruns over and over again

Why do I watch Friends reruns all the time and not other sitcoms? I mean, I watched other sitcoms, and also ones that are based in NYC like "How I Met Your Mother", "Seinfeld" and even "Sex and the City". But for some reason they all have something in the show that makes me not wanting to watch it again. Or that I am happy I watched it, but it was something that I watched during a certain stage of my life. Why do I keep watching Friends? I have thought about it, and these are my reasons why I still think Friends is the Best:

My 14 reasons why Friends is the Best

  1. Every time I hear the intro, it makes me happy!
  2. With everything bad going on in the World sometimes, it is great to just tune out and turn on a familiar sitcom you know is going to make you feel better!
  3. Everything was just better in the 90's/beginning of 2000's. When people did not have a cell phone yet and people would leave messages on their answering machines. If you watch the show episode after episode you see that this is a topic that comes back all the time.
  4. When I have to do household chores or work on my website or other serious things and I have to focus, I play a Friends episode in the background.
  5. Watching the show feels familiar as I also live in NYC and certain scenes are exactly like how a New Yorker would do it. For instance the episode where Rachel and Ross are going to do laundry together. It is so New York! (even though I am now one of the lucky few who has her own washer and dryer in her apartment, a true luxury in NYC!)
  6.  I walk by the street where the apartment is supposed to be located almost daily. Whereas the steps to the house of Sex and the City's Carry is not attracting as much attention anymore compared to years ago, the facade of the building that we see all the time in "Friends" episodes still gets many fans to visit to take pictures.. even though the apartment is not there as everything inside was filmed in a studio in Hollywood!
  7. The apartment itself is like a copy of my own apartment in NYC. I moved into my loft in 2006. My friends who have visited my apartment since, and who I have spent endless nights with chatting and cooking together remember the colorful green, orange, lilac, and blue walls all over, and the eclectic mix of furniture and little ornaments that I found at flea markets, the colorful and overpriced "Bazaar" ABC Carpet, or even sometimes on the streets of NYC (because New Yorkers throw out the most expensive stuff as space is expensive and storage is as well, throwing out a piece of furniture is a better financial option than storing it). I also had magnets on my fridge, I also had a weird lamp. Everything in my apartment goes together, while nothing matches and everything is all over the place. The way Rachel, Ross, Chandler, Joey, Monica and Phoebe use apartment 20, is how I have used my apartment over the years. A place to hang out for me and my friends and to host lovely holiday parties. While I have since toned down the colors on my walls ( I have grown up after all) the spirit of my apartment is still the same and I still love to have people over just like Monica did! And by the way.... I also have a naked guy in the apartment across the street in the Summers for years.
  8.  What Friends character am I? Reading the previous comment it is obvious that I am a "Monica". Or "Lonica" (how many people in the USA pronounce my name) I might just be a mix of brother and sister Geller. I am a cleaner, a cook and a perfect host, and a bit uptight sometimes ;) But I am also clumsy like Ross, I choose to be a bit naive like Ross, and I am funny when I am not trying to be funny, and I am not funny when I try to be funny: just like Ross. (and I might have been a bit like Phoebe for a while, when I was all into alternative healing stuff and a vegan lifestyle.) I am for sure not Rachel, Chandler or Joey.
  9. I have so many favorite scenes! Probably the ones with Ross (no not the Pivot scene, although it is good!) Like when he is on the phone with Julie and he has an issue to hang up and Rachel does it for him. And I loved the wedding of Monica and Chandler, and Phoebe in the Winter cold. Because I just love NYC in the snow.
  10. My favorite characters are from favorite to least favorite: Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Joey, Monica, Phoebe.
  11. My favorite guest characters are "Richard" Burke Monica's boyfriend played by Tom Selleck and of course.... JANICE!!
  12. I am not a crazy fan of Friends or the 6 celebrity lead actors, I do think they are great. These 6 people are one of the big reasons why this show is a success. What I am trying to say is that I appreciate all parts of the show equally. I also really like the writing and the way the show looked, the stages of the different scenes. It looked so colorful and cozy. Marta Kaufman once said the show is like comfort food, and I think that is exactly what it is!
  13. Rachel (I love her last name) ended up working at Ralph Lauren, Of course I love that because Ralph Lauren is also the reason why I could live in NYC.
  14. Is there something I don't like? Well, now I have matured myself, and now that I am married, I look back at the show a bit different than before. I now watch episode after episode, I noticed HOW MUCH DATING these characters do during 10 years! Just like Sex and the City this show is really pushing the notion that twenty year olds date a lot and sleep with a lot of different people in NYC. It is kind of normal. Now looking back, I think that part could have been a bit less.. But these love interests of the main characters have definitely given enough funny storylines in the show that is for sure!
A Holiday party with my friends at my apartment in NYC back in 2008/2009, when the walls were still bright orange and I had all this eclectic stuff everywhere!

 

Thanksgiving dinner with friends, hubby and my dog Vito at my home (when I had repainted the walls!)

Here are a few lovely scenes for you to reminisce, while I am going to overthink if I should get that "Friends" sweater that I saw at Urban Outfitters today...

Love, Lonneke

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKIauVdgk_Y


Lonneke chilling in the park

Picnic!

What is a fun activity to do, when the weather is nice, that doesn't cost a lot of money? Something that is active as well, and a great time with friends?

A Picnic in the park!

Invite your best friends, and together go to a nice park/forest or field. Take a bike or walk, instead of a car, it is better for the environment and for your fitness too!

What do you need?

  • A sturdy large blanket, for everyone to sit on.
  • Good food( like baguettes, cheeses, fresh fruits, pasta salads, homemade hummus, veggies to grill etc)
  • Water and Drinks
  • Cool Box to put the drinks in.
  •  BBQ to grill food
  • Plates/cups/napkins/cutlery for everyone. Preferably made from recycled materials, or good to reuse.
  • Frisbee, (American) Football or any other fun sports to play outside( good for a workout!)
  • A board game, or a book
  • Some music ( not too loud!)
  • Umbrella against the sun, or (hopefully not) against the rain.

Where I go for a picnic

I love picnics!  for instance in Central Park, or at the Hudson River in NYC. I like biking there with some good stuff in my back pack. My friends are joining me, so fun!

Lonneke chilling in the park
Lonneke chilling in the park

Important tips when picnicing in the USA

  • Make sure you leave everything clean when you leave.
  • Don't show any opened or unopened alcohol bottles or cans. Put beer and wine in a brown bag. I know because I got a ticket once for a bottle of wine that was unopened (we were drinking only kombucha tea at that time) but since it rolled out of our shopping bag and was a bit visible, the park's officer thought it was appropriate to ticket everyone one of us, while our neighbor was actually drinking a beer, but in a brown bag. Oh well, those are the rules I guess, we did not see the wine fell out of the shopping bag. So good tip for you when having a picnic!

Love, Lonneke

 


Visiting Brattleboro, Vermont!

I once went to Brattleboro,Vermont for 1 reason: The wedding of one of my best friend Johan van Lierop and his fiancee Brooke Magnaghi

Vermont

I had never been to Vermont, and as I like to travel, I was looking forward to go to Brattleboro. Vermont is known for beautiful skiing, the trees that change color in Fall, but the mountains are also very pretty in the summer. I love hiking, and lakes: It seemed I would get enough of that in Vermont!

Main Street Brattleboro

Brattleboro

Brattleboro (see Main Street above) is a small town of about 12.000 people, in the mountains of Vermont, and about 3.5 hours drive from NYC... if you don't take a detour. Check for everyone renting a car: Get a navigation system AND make sure "Avoid tolls" is disabled. Because if it is enabled, your trip takes about 3 hours more...

The first thing I noticed was that Vermont is very clean. I drove around a lot, walked a lot, and I did not see much littering going on. It seems the state has been on the forefront of taking care of the environment. Is that where the name "The Green Mountain State" came from? Everywhere I looked, I found signs of "going green". The clean waters of the river while I went canoeing (just make sure you put sunscreen on, I got a bit red!), or the recycling bins in the restaurants, and looking at the many antiques, vintage and organic clothing stores, the signs were everywhere!

canoeing VermontLonn Canoeing

Four Columns Inn

The hotel was very cute: Four Columns Inn owned by is a charming little place where we had I think the cutest green room. I would definitely stay here again. We were welcomed by the Innkeeper and she showed us the whole house and restaurant, plus the places where we could relax. My boyfriend and I sat on the front porch one night, just talking and enjoying the nice weather. It was really nice.

Lonneke at Four Columns Inn

The restaurant

The restaurant at Four Columns Inn is known in the area as a really good restaurant. We had to make reservations. The food was amazing, local and delicious, and to my surprise: a lot of vegetarian options, and all local yummy foods. Like gazpacho and veggie ravioli (see pictures below). I was super excited! The restaurant was also used as the breakfast room, and everyday some items changed, but the quality stayed 5 stars, and things you can expect is home made muffins, Egg frittata, fresh cherries from the garden.

gazpacho at Four Columns InnVegetable Ravioli at Four Columns Inn

 

The location of the Inn

I also swam in the pool, and while it was a bit cold, i t was really nice. The garden and lake around the Inn are very beautiful.

The center of Brattleboro is really small, but cute. ( see picture on top of Main street Brattleboro) There are a few places worth mentioning:

My favorite store in Brattleboro

This has to be Twice upon a time!  This is the mecca for Antique and Vintage shoppers. They have over 10.000 square feet of space full of anything from furniture, clothing to jewelry and things for your home. Their great concept is that they have over 100 vendors and over 3000 consignors sell their things in this store. The store has a lot of sections where each vendor showing their sales items. I spent a few hours browsing and found great things! Including a drawer that I loved right away, for 1 tenth of the price it would be in New York City. Other finds: A beauty-case in fun colors, 70's glas milk bottle, a gift for Johan and Brooke as they were expecting a baby girl (a 40's girl's baby food plate), an 60's chef's dress, a nice table cloth, a bracelet..vintage napkins I needed for the wedding because I was crying the whole time. A lot of things and I did not even browse the vintage clothing section!

Twice upon a Time 1Jewelry Twice Upon a TimeTwice Upon a Time 2Twice Upon a Time 3

 

Lunch in Brattleboro

And for breakfast or lunch: The Works Bakery Cafe. The pesto/artichoke sandwich was SO good! This take out/sit down cafe looks cute. It has many healthy options.

The Works Artichoke Sandwich

The Works Artichoke Sandwich ingredients

The Works Logo

When you throw your garbage away you see that you need to separate your waste into 3 bins. I think the words on the garbage bins say it all :)

The Works waste bin 1The Works waste bin 2The Works waste bin 3

 

Overall, I really want to go back to Vermont, because it has everything I love: Clean air, beautiful nature, lot's of green, mountains, rivers, creeks and lakes! I especially want to go for "Indian Summer": When all the trees change to beautiful colors: red, orange, purple. It is supposed to be amazing and I can't wait to see it!

Love, Lonneke

River BrattleboroVermont

 

Twice upon a Time,
63 Main St.
Brattleboro, VT 05301
(802) 254-2261

Four Columns Inn

On the Green,

Newfane, Vermont, 05345

(800)787-6633

The Works Bakery Cafe

118 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301
802-579-1851

 


First published on August 15th 2011, updated in 2019


Making of Model Chocolate part 2

Hello beautiful readers! I share the cacao love with Organice Your Life® contributor Abigail O'Neill, so what's better than getting together for some model chocolate making with friends? As Lonneke already shared her favorite recipe from Abigail's Model Chocolate book, I'm gonna share mine with you all.

READ MORE: The Making of Model Chocolate part. 1

First of all, I wanted to congratulate Australian supermodel Abigail O'Neill with her wonderful work on the amazing book Model Chocolate ! Much more chocolate LOVE to you my dear, thank you very much for the effort of turning your passion into something everyone could benefit from!

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Getting ready to start our "Chocolovers" cooking in the Organice Your Life® kitchen. All ingredients and of course Model Chocolate cook book by Abigail.

I'm crazy for cookies... only the smell of cookies coming from the oven drives me crazy! So I chose the Chocky Bikkies with almond butter and honey. They are made with cacao nibs for a bit of crunchiness... I absolute love IT ! These are the healthiest I've ever made... Ingredients such as coconut, macadamia , vanilla and honey are the heroes of this awesome mixture above...

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We used to spoons to make the shape..._MG_0764-7... and a fork to help 

And it all together turned into ...

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THIS! Beautiful leafs made with lots of LOVE

The other day at home, my boyfriend Fabio reproduced another great recipe to one of our good friends and everyone was absolute blown away by how easy and tasteful were the Protein Cocoballs!! We've tried out eating them either before and after getting our workout done. It felt good to my body both ways, increased my energy level and helped recovering muscles. They're good as sweet treats after lunch or dinner, as it's made with the best ingredients and superfoods on Earth, so you don't get to feel guilty about eating them. It's pure goodness ;)

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Delicious Protein Cocoballs ready!

So let's get inspired , get your friends and start cooking!! If your are interested in having access to all these amazing choco blast, please go to OYL shop and get yours! E-book and hardcopies are available HERE. Join us and share your love for raw chocolate too! Share your love for chocolate too!

Xo Carol ;)

pictures by Carol, Fabio & Fairest Photo

First published on November 11th 2013, updated in 2019


Love people & life, Not Stuff

We are ALL in love with stuff — with shopping, with acquiring, with owning, with collecting! I know it is easy to do this. But let’s lust after life instead?

How we live our lives these days

Our obsession with stuff has become unhealthy. When we have a void in our lives, we buy things (we have all done it!) When we have problems, we buy things. And these things are becoming more and more expensive, bigger, shinier … more wasteful ( and NOT Green!)

This obsession with stuff leads to owning a lot, having a lot of clutter … and yet this stuff doesn’t fill our lives with meaning.

We buy things when we’re depressed, we buy things for others to show how much we love them … and in this way, stuff has separated us from actually dealing with our emotions, blocked us from truly connecting with others.

Let’s replace that lust for stuff with a lust for life and here are some ideas and inspirations that help me, but is something I have to remind myself of often... especially when walking past my favorite store! We are all a work in progress, so we need to be gentle with ourselves, but we also have to make good choices, that will help us grow in every way.

Make good choices that will help us grow in every way

  • Rediscover a passion for life. Get outside and feel nature, appreciate the beauty of the world around you. Get active, do some gardening or yardwork, play a sport, go for a walk, take a hike, go for a swim, ride a bike. Feel the life coursing through you. Breathe it in.
  • Give experiences as gifts, not stuff. Instead of shopping for someone come birthdays or Christmas, think of an experience you can give them instead. A date with you, doing something fun, hanging out, cooking, playing, talking, exploring. A fun time at a park or beach. Something other than everyday. An experience is much more meaningful than an object.
  • Connect with others. In real life. If you haven’t hung out with a friend recently, give him a call and go hang out. Go on a date with your partner. Visit your mom or grandparents. And be present while you’re with them — really listen, really be there. Love people, not stuff!
  • Deal with your emotions. If you have a need to buy things, to shop when you are having emotional issues, be more aware of this. Then deal with the underlying emotions, rather than using shopping as a way to forget about them. If you’re depressed, or anxious, or lonely, deal with those. Find solutions, figure out what’s causing them. Good news: experiencing life, getting active, and connecting with others all help you deal with those emotional issues.
  • Disconnect your attachment to stuff.
  • Realize that life, not stuff, is what matters. Objects are just objects — if you lose them, if they get stolen or destroyed … it’s not a big deal. They’re just objects, NOT your life. Your life is the series of moments that is steaming through your consciousness right now, and how you use those moments and what you fill them with is what truly matters, not what you fill your home with. At the end of this short journey, you’ll look back and remember your experiences, the people you loved and who loved you back, the things you did and didn’t do. Not the stuff you had.

So let's all love life & NOT STUFF!

I hope this inspires you to re-think wants VS needs. We all *want* stuff, but do you need it? Internalize this, and hopefully you make the right choice for YOU.

Love xoxo

First published in 2011, Updated in 2018


OYL Circle of Five by Joey Holthaus

Here I was, getting ready to go onstage... to supposedly convince and inspire thousands of people... to get unified and to fight the prejudice... you know, that I couldn't even inspire seven dancers. - Madonna TRUTH OR DARE, 1990

Do you know that feeling when you want to change the world? When you want to inspire people? But you can’t even inspire yourself sometimes?

That’s how I felt a while ago. I was lost. I didn’t know what to do. How to begin. How to get the energy again.

My life changed in 2013

Let me tell you about the months in my life in mid-2013 as a lot changed for me. I resigned my parttime job because I wanted to really focus on my company HAUS OF JOEY. I only want to work as a freelance illustrator. A lot of people around me told me also to quit my job. "Just do what you do best. You can do it! Just focus!" So I did. Without a real plan.

I forgot that I always had a job (since I was nineteen). I always had a boss. I always got my money at the end of the month. I had a rhythm every day: get up, go to work, own your money, go to home, spend some time with my husband, go to my friends, etc. I loved it, but I was also used to it. It was regular. Normal. In control. And I love it to be in control. Cause I’m a control freak.

That all ended. Now I am my own boss.
Now I have make my own plans, my own choices, my own rules, etc.
Now I have to make my own money... Oi!

I started too positive. Too happy. Because I had some money. No worries, right? I took some time to get in my new mood, my new rhythm. And it was hard. It felt like I was in rehab.

It’s always busy in my creative head, and I had to do a lot. But how to start? Where to begin?

And then I thought about one episode of Oprah. Rudine Howard suffered from lifelong anorexia, and Oprah followed her story from 1989 to her death in 1994. When Traci Gold appeared with Rudine (age 29 and 58 lbs.), Traci insisted Rudine could overcome anorexia by taking steps to “fill your mind.” Rudine heart-wrenchingly asked, “But how do you do it?” It changed Oprah’s way of thinking.

That is it. That is what everybody wants to know. How? This is the central question in life. - Oprah

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not comparing myself with this sad story, or the woman who suffered from this disease. It’s all about her question. How? How do you do it? How do you get a succesful business? What do you have to do?

The Organice Your Life®'s the Circle of Five

I thought about Organice Your Life®'s the Circle of Five. These 5 steps can help you to organize and improve your home, your finances, your career, your health, your relationships, and your good charitable work for others.

Why not start with that? Just to get back on track. So I did.

1. Organice Your Home

I cleaned up my atelier, my work office. Started with my administration, organiced all my old illustrations (hundreds!!!), pictures (thousands!), etc. It took some time but boy, I’m so happy I did it! Luckely my place at home was already organiced!

1-HOME-1READ MORE: Organize Your Shoe Closet
1-HOME-2
1-HOME-3

2. Organice Your AGENDA

I started reading “Start from Your Heart”, a book about how to start your company in your own steps, with your own feelings. It helped me to get back to basic. Why do I want to get a successful business? What do I want to earn? What are my goals? For now? And for the next couple of years?

I’ve written everything down, and now I have my own manuscript about how to start my own company. And I did it in the way I wanted to do it. It felt so good. Cleaned up my head again.

2-AGENDA

3. Organice YOURSELF

I love to take care of my body and mind. But sometimes I need structure to get back the focus. I do not drink a lot, and don’t use any drugs. I’m trying to eat better (step by step, with the help of great Organice Your Life recipes, and I’m doing my exercises again. All at home. Low budget.3-YOURSELF-(1)3-YOURSELF-(2)My schedule? In the morning I start with the sun salutation and after that I do my push-ups, or use some dumbles. I run 3 times a week. It gives me such a nice feeling, and my body’s getting back in shape again!

4. Organice Your RELATIONSHIPS

My situation in 2013

Husband - I married the best man in the whole world! He supports me in everything, and he believes in me. Every Wednesday evening is our night, and we do something together: we’re going to the movies, having dinner outside, take a walk. Such good quality time.

Family - I love my brothers and sister. We talk almost every day (thank God for group whatsapp), and once a while we go out together. Crazy nights!

Friends - My friends are really important to me. I really take the time to visit them, to be around them. Good friends are gold. They give me positive energy and love, and I can really be myself around them.

5. Organice Your GOOD HEART

I’m trying to be a good person. A few months ago I found a wallet on the street. Couldn’t find a telephone number inside, but a lot of his (credit) cards. Found his name on the internet and called him, and he was so grateful I called him. I didn’t noticed the wallet was filled with a lot of money (I did not search for it), but when he came back to pick up the wallet he saw all the money was there (think it was more than 1000 EUR). He wanted to give me a reward. I didn’t want it, but he insisted. He gave me 200 euro (!) and walked away. I was flabbergasted. Okay, I could have all the money if I kept the wallet, but I’m not one of those people. It wasn’t mine and I believe in karma. I know this is just a little thing, but a good heart starts with simple things. Be kind. Be helpful. Be a human.

These five steps help me to focus. Focus on what’s important.

Challenge yourself and try it. It really helps!

Joey


Delicous foods on the menu

Sandy Relief dinner with friends!

Dinner with friends for Sandy Relief
Dinner with friends for Sandy Relief

Hello all!

Yesterday I hosted a last-minute "Sandy Relief/Power ON" celebration dinner party for my friends! We cooked together and made delicious foods. We talked about the past week being in NYC and shared each individual story of being in Sandy and the Black Out. All these stories are intriguing! The city has been a weird place to live in the past week.   A tale of 2 cities in One, New York Magazine has a perfect cover that shows that.

My friend Thomas and I went shopping for food at WholeFoods on Bowery street & Houston. To my surprise it wasn't that crowded. Most products were in stock, only there were no eggs left. (there were a few Organic egg whites by Organic Valley left though). Thomas was supposed to run his 9th marathon in NYC, but we all know what happened to the marathon (got cancelled).

With full bags of groceries to stock my back in power fridge again, we arrived home.

preparing foods
preparing foods...lots of fresh ingredients.

What was on the menu?

Lonneke cooking
Lonneke cooking

A delicious vegetarian meal! Amazing organic vegetable soup . Baguettes from the oven with organic tomatoes and garlic, an organic salad with Thomas' own dressing, roasted artichokes from the oven, Pasta with a tomato based sauce and as dessert a Dutch delicacy: Poffertjes! I brought the poffertjes mix all the way from Holland when I got back to NYC!

Delicous foods on the menu
Delicous foods on the menu

I will add the recipe as a separate post. Everyone loved the soup!

All my friends donated clothes to Glam4good, a charity started by stylist Mary Alice Stephenson. A firefighter friend of hers is collecting clothing for families in disaster areas of Rockaway Beach & Breezy Point. This way I know for sure our gently used garments will get to the families in need! Look at how many bags we got from just one dinner with 8 friends!

dishes and clothes
Lots of dishes to wash... but also lots of clothes for the ones in need!
garbage bags full of clothes
garbage bags full of clothes

We had a wonderful night.Thank you my friends for donating so much! Thomas Acda (donated running clothes) Munemi Imai (donated scarves, gloves. hats), Jackie Swerz (donated a bunch of designer clothing), George Vellonakis (donated many men's clothing) & Tina Louise (donated A LOT of clothes from her and her daughter). I am donating like 4 full bags of clothes on top of that.

if you want to donate yourself to Glam4Good see below!

Glam4good
Glam4good

Together we can help all these people get back on their feet. Every little thing helps!

Love, Lonneke

 

 


Off day? Instant pick me ups!

We all have days that just feel off, even the most positive person on earth. Maybe you got some bad news, maybe it's raining, maybe you feel overwhelmed by your schedule, or maybe you just woke up in a bad mood for no particular reason. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, try these things first:

SMILE
Especially when you don't feel like it. Even if you don't 'smize', simply smiling with your lips triggers your brain to release endorphins. Smiling makes you more attractive, major plus! It is also 'contagious', the easiest way to make the world a better place in a small way ;) What else? It literally improves your health by lowering your blood pressure and boosting the immune system.

Still need some help? Here are my go to pick me ups
Instant pick me ups
Sayings & Quotes

BREATHE (properly, that is)
Take a deep breath and exhale all the way. Relax all your (probably tensed up) ab muscles, I guarantee you that will already feel better! I truly believe that this is why people feel like they need a cigarette when they're frustrated, they need to breathe all the way... In fact, I think I will write a more detailed post on breathing soon, it is something most people could do better (I know this sounds weird, but it's true).

EXERCISE
Run for 30 min, put your 'aggression' into lifting some weights. You have all this extra (negative) energy, why not turn that into something positive. I guarantee you: you will feel better.


ZOOM OUT
List all the things that you are thankful for and that you have going for you in life. Trust that things will get better, because deep down you know they will eventually.

FRIENDS
Your friends will always make you feel better, that's why they're your friends! Go out for a drink, go shoe shopping, share funny stories, laugh, hug, just hang out, even if your busy schedule only allows you 20 min of downtime. It will put you in an exceedingly better mood and you'll be more productive as a result.

And if aaalll this doesn't work, give yourself the day off and watch your favorite comedy movie. 'Dumb and dumber' always does the trick for me!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TViEzHJrMcM&feature=related [/youtube]