Organice Your Home

Organize Your Life: Make Your House Your Home

The first step in the Organice Your Life circle of 5 is : Organice Your Home. Let me give you a short introduction to how you make your house your home!

Organice Your Life - Circle of FiveTo start “organizing your life in an organic and nice way", also known as "Organice Your Life", you should start with your home base, and do a complete inventory and organization of it. You can’t see clearly what part of your life needs improvement, when the place you live or staying at, is not organized. A cluttered home equals a cluttered mind. Whether it is your home or a temporary stay, you need to know what your foundation is made of. See your life as a house. You can’t build a solid house from the ground up, if the foundation is weak. Your place of residence is your foundation. So, how does it look? Start first by cleaning up, organizing and fixing things. Maybe adding some TLC . After "organicing" your home, you know exactly what you have, what you don’t have, what you need or don’t need. Getting rid of things feels like eliminating toxic waste. Plus, next time you go shopping you only buy what you truly need. By making the place you live comfy and nice, will make everybody present feel good.

The Five steps to Organice your Home

1. Organice Your Living Spaces

Settling the different areas of your house. 

The layout of your home is very important to create a good "flow". Are all the rooms and spaces used the right way? Is all the furniture in the best place? Maybe reorganize and make it flow better!

READ MORE: Organize your Bathroom

2. Organice Your Household

Managing the cleaning & organizing of your house.

Hygiene is important. Find a routine in cleaning your home. The more of a routine you have, the more clean and organized your space will look most of the time, and you won't create a big mess that takes even longer to clean up! This way you will also know where everything is. When you need those items, they are easier to find.

READ MORE: Oven cleaning

3.  Organice Your Home Design

Making your house feel like home.

This is all about renovation and interior design of your home!  Paint and the right furniture, pictures, you name it. A little bit of updating here and there, painting and maybe a new piece of furniture? Add those special ornaments that mean so much to you, or those pictures that bring back memories.

READ MORE: Renovating my Bathroom

4. Organice Your Home Ambiance

Bringing some nice atmosphere to your home.

You can create a nice "vibe" by adding the right lights and candles, heat, scents and a good air flow. Anything that makes you "feel" great inside your home! I love salt lamps, essential oils, little candles and an air purifier to help the environment of my space.

READ MORE: salt lamps

5. Organice Your Home: Flora & Fauna

Taking care of your plants and pets, indoors and outdoors.

Plants can be beneficial for the air quality and bring joy to a home. They need care and attention just like your children, pets, relationships and of course, yourself.

READ MORE: Vertical Garden

Many households have pets. These loving animals also need their space in your home. When you have given them a spot that they love too, you will see the whole home is coming together just right.

READ MORE: A Dog is part of the family

Get a schedule together for the care of your plants. Get a schedule for the care of your pets. Make it a routine and they will do really well.

Start organizing your home by following these steps and think about how you can make your house your home!

Love, Lonneke

 


red heart with hands

5 tips for a Good Heart

Everyone wants to do something Good for others once a while. You can give money to a charitable cause, or volunteer to show your "good heart". You can just give away things you don't need to others who can use it very well. There are so many things, big and small, easy or difficult, you can do for others. Doing good for others feels good!

About Organice Your Good Heart:

Good Heart definition

My 5 tips to do good for others:

  1. Take care of yourself first. If you are strong & healthy, you have the best chance to succeed to help others. (Example: when an airplane is in trouble, you first put on the oxygen mask yourself and then help other passengers.)
  2.  Choose your focus. Choose your charity. What is the most important to you right now? Even if you want to, you can't save the World and everyone on it. If everyone focuses on their own subject of passion, there will be more results possible faster and without too much waste of time and money.
  3.  Find out what you can share or give. If you have a lot of money, you can give money. If you don't have money but you have time, you can volunteer. If you don't have any of those, you can share knowledge or connections. You can maybe share products or services. Fact is that a lot is valuable. Money or things like knowledge: it is all worth a lot!
  4.  Look around your surroundings and in your group of friends/relationships to see what is needed and what people focus on. Sharing is caring. Together you are stronger.
  5. Organize. The better you are organized (or "organiced"), the more success you will have.

My focus with Organice Your Life is to share knowledge and information. Besides that I love animals so I focus on charities that care for animals. Because Gandhi said it well:

Gandhi quote animals

What I support

I support most of all the Charities in my heart, while my focus is to support to a few local NYC charities.  My unwanted clothes ,household products and groceries I bring to friends, and local people who don't have much to spend. It feels good :)

What do you focus on?

Love, Lonneke


10 fun things to do in the Weekend

Most people use the Weekend to recharge for the following work week. But when the Weekend comes, all they want to do is relax and do nothing. But some people actually get bored doing nothing. So what can you do on a Saturday or Sunday that is fun, but doesn't feel like work too much? Here is a list of 10, with 5 ideas following our circle of 5 by Organice Your Life®!

Lonneke- Ralph Lauren

Lonneke by Regan Cameron for Ralph Lauren.

1. Organice Your Home

 The Weekend is a perfect time to just do the chores in your home you have been putting off for so long. So your house is clean and organized for the week(s) to come.

READ MORE: Tips and articles on how to Organice Your Home

2. Be creative

Draw, paint or do home improvement in the Weekend. Also, you can be creative with boxes of memories: You know you save a lot of things as memories, but they usually end up in a box. Or more than one box. They take up a lot of space and before you know it you don't look in those boxes anymore because it is just too much stuff. Maybe it is a good time to take that box and file all your papers you want to keep as memorabilia? It is a nice thing to, to make an album with your favorite memories, pictures and papers. And it is also a great conversation subject next time friends or family come over. Not to mention just for your own history, you need to file it the way you want to be remembered!

3. Organice Your Agenda

Pay the bills you have been putting off. Make a to-do list for the following week so you feel organized in your head. Check your agenda what you need to do that week and maybe you can already prepare a few things! Because putting things to do off until the very last moment brings a lot of stress, and if you have some time to work on it, even on a free day, maybe that put your mind more at ease the rest of that free day. Are there fun events coming up? Maybe you can already look for the perfect outfit!

READ MORE: Ideas on how to Organice Your Agenda 

4. Local activities

Check your local news to see if there are fun events happening in your neighborhood this weekend. Like flea markets, street fairs or music festivals. Always fun to go to, even at the last minute!

5. Organice Yourself

Take some time to pamper yourself. Shave, massage or paint your nails. Put on a mask or do a zen meditation. Work out, or do a session of pilates. Anything that makes you feel good inside and outside, a free Sunday afternoon is a perfect time to focus on that! Plus take a nice long nap to feel great again!

READ MORE: Tips on how to take care of yourself

6. Go for a long walk around your neighborhood

Fall or Spring, Summer or Winter, every season it is a great time to go outdoors and see what your city or village has to offer. A great way is to walk the dog if you have one. Not only your dog gets his or her needed exercise, you do too! Walking every day is the best way to reduce the risk of the most common diseases like cardiovascular disease. Walking is in our list of 5 Easy tips for Healthy Living.

7. Organice Your Relationships

Spend time with the people you love! Go visit your friends or family who you maybe haven't seen in a long time. Spend time with your loved one doing something he or she really loves doing. Or if you live far away, Facetime or Skype with the ones you care about. Trust me doing that in a weekend is a perfect time to bond with each other!

READ MORE: Things you can do to connect more with your favorite people

8. Play a (board) game with friends or family.

It is super fun but also really good for relationships to spend time together. Not only that, playing games train the mind And maybe you win and your weekend is even better!

READ MORE: Some games to play for fun or for brain training

9. Organice Your Good Heart

Charity work in the Weekend! Go help out a local animal or people shelter. Or help your neighbor or friends with doing daily chores. Makes you feel great inside too!

READ MORE: Things you can help to do good for others

10. Have fun in the Kitchen

Go through the ingredienst you still have in your pantry and create a delicious meal with that. Work on your cooking skills and become a great chef. Cook for friends, or for yourself the rest of the week.

READ MORE: Browse through the delicious, healthy recipes on Organice Your Life

Circle of Five

 

I hope this gave you some inspiration to what you can do in your Weekend!

Love, Lonneke


How to schedule your week

How to schedule your week (or: a spoonful of 'sugar')

Do you ever feel... No, not like a plastic bag. Do you ever feel like your days are superhectic and busy, but then when you lay in bed at night, you can't help but wonder: 'Uhm...what have I actually done today?' You start thinking about all the goals you have in life. I'm talking ALL the goals: write a book, write a grammy winning album, learn to play drums and guitar, go to Japan and eat Jiro's sushi, meet Oprah, build a school in a Third World country, and of course fold the laundry and get groceries for this week. Brain: “K, let's do all that tomorrow.” Result: insomnia.

This was ME, not long ago. I felt incredibly busy and unproductive at the same time. My to do list was getting longer and longer, and yet somehow I wasn't really focusing on what I wanted to focus on.

Until the magical New Year's Eve. Every year on New Year's Eve I write down my goals for the next year and this time something was really gonna CHANGE. I was going to make a schedule. But wait...I've made schedules before and was never able to really stick to them. How was I going to do it right this time and not get distracted by a million things? The answer was obvious: alliteration.

 Weekly Schedule

The first thing I came up with was 'Money Masterplan Monday'. It started as a joke in my head, but after a few minutes I was writing down ideas feverishly! Now, I promise I am an adult, but...I admit some part of me never really grew up. I still like fairytales and stuffed animals, and I'm not ashamed to say it! So whenever childish little me doesn't like something, it helps if I turn it into a game. I stopped eating sugar, but Mary Poppins would say: a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down :)

OYL-Agenda-Banner

So ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:

My Personal Schedule

Monday

Money Masterplan Monday

Send invoices, pay bills, organize administration, budget planning, visualize what I'll do with my first million... etc.

&

Music Mashup Monday

Check out new music and make playlists of references, and cover options, work on live show, create mashups and mixes to post online.

Maruja Retana

Tuesday

Technical Tuesday

Finish editing jobs, learn a new trick, try out new settings, develop mixing skills

AND:

New Skill Tuesday

now: DJ-ing
later: guitar

 

Wednesday

Errand Wednesday

Groceries, meetings, doing annoying things like cleaning.

&

Writing Camp Wednesday

Plan sessions or write 2 songs to practice speed, write article for OYL, columns and copy for promotion.

Thursday

Telephone Thursday

Call people

&

Topline Thursday

A "topline" is the vocal melody and the lyrics of a song.
Arrange, organize and finish toplines, create pitch plan, reach out to labels

 

Friday

Film Friday

Film a cover, an acoustic version of an original song or a new episode for my 'Maruja Says' youtube channel.

&

Finish Friday

Tie up loose ends and finish everything I couldn't get done this week

Friends Friday

Hang out with my friends!

Maruja Retana Lonneke Engel Joey Holthaus

Saturday

Social Media Saturday

Plan posts for the week, shamelessly stalk people on Facebook and waste some time on Tumblr and Pinterest

&

Celebration Saturday

Do something fun :)

Maruja Retana

Sunday

Sweetie Sunday

Hang out with my sweetheart and have a major cheat day (Nutellaaaaa)

So yeah...my schedule is not really a schedule, and that is exactly why it works for me. It is more a tool to focus on certain themes each day. The reason why I think it is so perfect is because I have a tendency to react instead of act. It helps me to not go straight to Facebook when I turn on my laptop, because that is what I do only on Social Media Saturday (unless I have something specific to post). It helps me to be more reliable and tell people: 'I'll finish this song on Wednesday', because that is when I write.

I highly recommend this system to all my fellow chaotic workaholics out there. Now, of course you can change it up as you like, e.g. my good friend Emily swears by her newly created 'Maintenance Monday' to keep her focused. Hope it helps you too, happy scheduling!

xoxo Maruja

Images copyright Organice Your Life®/Maruja Retana/Gijs Spierings

First published on Organice Your Life on January 22nd 2015

 


5 tips for a Green World

Most people want a Green World. But how do we achieve that goal?

I recently came across this quote by Carl Sagan on the Stop Fracking Instagram account that made me stop and think. I searched for more and discovered that this man, who brought the cosmic universe in understandable language to us, gave us inspirational things to think about and maybe even make a change.

A Better World

We all notice something is in need of a thorough inspection and update in our World today. The idea of making money, a career, to have a house (with a mortgage) and a car (with a loan), fame ( & power) and buying, consuming & owning expensive "things" is just not that satisfying for most of us anymore. And we see a LOT of problems unfolding in front of our eyes.

What is going on these days? What are the issues of our generation? Why are people worried and upset?

People see that the energy supplies are drying up and we need a new way of energy. People feel they can't trust anymore what they eat. Our food system is being endangered because some big corporations are trying to change DNA structures of plants (GMO). Nature is being demolished for industries worldwide. There are worries about the Climate Change and if the air you breathe is still good enough and the water you drink from the tap is not contaminated in the future. People worry about possible nuclear bombs and terrorism. Species become extinct, people are being suppressed in countries. (Gay) people are being bullied and attacked. Even pets are legally seen as a material object, a "thing" not a living being and part of your family.

The World sometimes feels like it is messed up

And we all feel this, one way or another. Everyone wants to change something. People want less stress, less responsibilities, more time to spend with loved ones,  more happiness, greener nature, less abuse, less violence, more Peace between people and the Earth. But most people wait until others to take the lead... But why wait? All issues going on in society are influencing us all, if we want it or not. We can sit by and wait and see, or have an active attitude.

Like the quote says:

without clean air and water all our dreams and ideas for the future cannot become reality.

And if we don't speak up what we want ourselves, no one will, and money will continuously rule our World.

But it all feels like too. big. of. an. issue. to. deal. with. and. to. fix.

Where to begin? I hear you asking.

It all starts with our excessive consumption pattern of this moment. That. needs. to change. No way out.

How to start living a better, more sustainable and fulfilling life for a Green World,  without coming across as a drastic activist?

Answer: One step at a time. Here are 5 tips for a Green World Inspiration:

1.  Information is Powerful

Read and learn about things before consuming something or buying something. I read everyday all day and listen to inspirational people, experts in their field, to learn about their findings. And if you made mistakes in the past, and people are continuously pointing out all the things you do or did wrong: focus on what you do right at this moment. People will always try to find something to bring you and your good intentions down. You can start any moment to live a better and a more green life to work together with millions of others to create a Green World! (Good news huh?!) I made mistakes too, and sometimes worked with companies that are not doing so well on the ethical or sustainable level. But the money I made I now put where my mouth is. Know that every day is a new day to change your lifestyle.

2. Each time you buy something, you vote with your purchase

You can either sustain or change a situation using your power of spending. When everyone stops buying products that don't have a good ethical side to it, producers will change to fit the customers needs. It is that easy. So next time you buy something. THINK about what you are buying. And choose good stuff! For instance, if you buy cheap clothing or fast food, you are likely to vote for underpaid unethical (child) labor, depleting nature from essential minerals, contaminating drinking water and bad living conditions for animals as well as voting for a bad health of yourself, to name a few gigantic problems our World faces these days. Cheap means, the money savings have to come somewhere. So you might have a fashionable shirt you wear probably only a few times. And then throw out (creating enormous waste). Or eating a cheap meal.  The impact on yourself and the planet is so devastating you probably would think twice to purchase it if you saw all of these problems that come with that purchase unfold at once in front of your own eyes. The amount of chemicals and genetically manipulated ingredients used in the production of cheap food like products and fashion is alarming. And it is in almost all the stuff you have at home probably, unless you live under a rock. So it affects ALL OF US. Choose wisely for a Green World.

3. Think long-term, not short-term

Some people think about the short-term cost of things, in other words: what does it cost today? While I always think long-term because that is the best for a Green World. If I am healthy and stay healthy for a long time, I need less doctors for disease, less medication, and that way I save a lot of money! I believe that investing in health, by going to doctors to manage my health ,and by buying good products in the beginning will save money in the end compared to people always buying cheap food and cheap products. Cheap food gets you sick, cheap products don't last long, are unethically made, and need to be replaced all the time.  Think about your karma, your conscience.. Can you live with the situation you sustain by buying that product? Your choice if you want to save money now, or your money, your health and your karma in the end. Don't you want the best for your kids? Think about every aspect of their lives. What do you feed them, what do you make them wear, where do you let them play...what quality is the air their young developing lungs breath... each thing, each action is of an incredible importance to the rest of their lives. Be aware, be conscious. Are you protecting their future? Are you fighting for clean soil and organic food, clean air & water? Or do you just sit by and watch the big corporations & government ruining it all just for the Sake of profits? For our children and their future: you can't stay in silence, speak up and demand better & healthier products, protection of people, animals & nature and safety all along. There is enough of everything for everyone and for our future, but we are all using it up now. Pretty selfish don't you think?It is a fact that buying cheap stuff will only give you short-term happiness when purchased. And it might give you a good feeling for a moment: the ones involved in making it are not happy at all. Let's be honest here: a 1 dollar meal or 5 dollar shirt sounds like a bargain, but HOW in the world can that 1 dollar product be made with respecting people, animals & nature? Answer: no way. And the bad ingredients in cheap processed foods can help you get serious diseases like heart disease, diabetes, obesity to name a few. The toxins used in producing cheap fashion can cause lung & skin problems and the amount of waste created this way... forgetaboutit. If you knew that junk food, soda drinks, buying toxic clothing, shoes and other products would be harmful to your health and that of your family in the long run, would you think twice about buying the cheap, unhealthier version?

4. Think quality, not quantity

While a deal of 2 or more for the price of one sounds like a great deal, it usually only comes for products that aren't really healthy or well made, and actually could be harmful to your health. While our society has the idea that "We want MORE" is the way to go, and buying lots and lots of things and owning lots and lots of things are the best for you, I believe in Less is More. Also, knowing where your products come from gives a certain extra value to the purchase, besides knowing you help a local producer and the safety of knowing who made it. That is true quality. I keep downgrading my life daily, so I can enjoy my life more without the continuous bills coming my way and the worries that come with it. So I don't have to work to keep up with the bills, and don't need that much time keeping up, and organizing my belongings. So I have more time to spend with who I love, doing what I love. It's an enlightened feeling if you can say: I don't need all that. Our family doesn't need all that. I am perfectly happy with the stuff I already have

5. Be creative

Companies have tried to make us all look the same: "We give you a lot of the same looking products and you all buy it from us, and you don't know where it is made, from what it is made and who made it". It is the easiest and cheapest for companies to produce this way. And the more you buy, the more money they make, which will only benefit a very small group of people. Also, these clothes have usually a bad carbon footprint (Think made fare away like "Made s in "INSERT SOMEWHERE IN ASIA") and create a terrible amount of waste. Just saying. Back to the "Be creative" part. I hate the idea of wearing an outfit and someone else walks by in the exact same shirt from a chain store. So I try to stay as far away. I absolutely LOVE my vintage shopping, the hunt for that one-of-a-kind piece, and buying from unique designers and local craftsmen. Less carbon footprint: a happier World. Also for furniture the same. Commodity is no fun.  Be original. Exchange products with your friends (and save money too), let people see who you truly are, choose things that are original, that are YOU. And u know what? People will recognize and praise you for your courage and your great eye and originality! Because most don't have that much originality unfortunately, but they will see it when it is in front of their own eyes. Bonus: being original and recycling products like vintage and antique is usually cheaper to purchase, create almost no waste. The clothes actually are recycled in the economy as well so worth more economically per garment (if that makes sense). It takes creativity, and we lost it somehow the past decades when industrialization and mass production came into our lives, but we can get it back!

The World is not lost yet, it can still be a Green World

We have been taught that our voice does not make a difference by the people who run the world in the Old Economy. It is quite the contrary. If you feel like you want to make a change, you can totally do that as every little bit counts.   Because all those little bits together become a big chunk. And people will notice. Companies will notice and will make a chance. Just focus, everyone has their own favorite issue they want to change. And yes, you might experience a bit of a struggle in the beginning, but easy things are no fun. Success is only satisfying when it takes effort to get to that point.

I encourage you to start changing your consuming pattern for the better. "New" isn't always better," cheap" is usually not right. If you only become more conscious about your actions, and the things you buy each day with the hard-earned money you made, we are half way there. Don't believe all advertising, some are misleading. Trust me I know. The way you consume things and leave your footprint on this Earth matters. Every positive little (green) change helps to change this society for the better. And people lead by example.

Open your mind, explore, learn, send out your message and connect with people who believe in a Green World.

And foremost: Put your money where your mouth is if you believe in a Green World. Buy from true organic & green companies, local farmers & craftsmen and buy GMO free produce.

The World is not lost yet. There are a lot of people still focusing on the money aspect of things (so last Century) But even the most corrupt and money loving people and corporations have a heart... somewhere. They just lost the right path a few decades ago, and can't seem to find it anymore. They only go for the short term profit; they lost the touch with the people who work for them, the animals and products they work with and the environment they work in. But with our efforts and little changes to a greener life we will push them to find the right path again!

Together we stand, all that is important is us, our children and our future.

Love, Lonneke

Founder Organice Your Life®

Carl Sagan quote 2


A healthy Lifestyle for Reebok magazine

Hello my dear friends!

I'm so happy to announce that this month of June, Reebok magazine featured Organiceyourlife.com allowing many Brazilians to know more about our healthy lifestyle. Fabio and I got the opportunity to show this through a beautiful photoshoot that took place at one of our favorite places anywhere in the world :  the Gym . LOL

There's nothing better than doing what you love , with the the ONE  you love , plus at a place you spend lots of time doing great things to your body and soul. This all benefits a healthy lifestyle.

Enjoy the images shot by photographer Lucas Fonseca , make up by Alex Origuella and style by Cesar Cortinove. Special thanks goes to Dinho Batista my super agent!

xo Carol ;)

Captura de Tela 2014-06-10 às 14.12.45

 

Captura de Tela 2014-06-10 às 14.13.36
"Couple Carol Fontaneti and Fabio Nunes shows their quemistry goes beyond the catwalk, fans of a healthy life style, they're photografed together for this exclusive spread"
Captura de Tela 2014-06-10 às 14.15.55
Ready to fight!
Captura de Tela 2014-06-10 às 14.14.45
Top model Carol Fontaneti, contributes to Organiceyourlife.com where she share with fellow model Lonneke Engel , gold tips on how to live an organic and nice life! 
Captura de Tela 2014-06-10 às 14.15.28
All kind of "fights" , like martial arts are ideal for those looking for dynamic activities - wrote the magazine.

Captura de Tela 2014-06-10 às 14.15.06

Captura de Tela 2014-06-10 às 14.14.10

 


OYL Circle of Five by Wubbo Ockels

The 5 steps of the Organice Your Life Circle of Five can help you organize and improve your home, your finances, your career, your health, your relationships and you supporting others. How are other people doing it? We ask them!

Organice Your Life Circle of Five: Wubbo Ockels

 

Organice Your Home:

“I have solar panels on my house. I also sold my 4 cars and now
 I don’t own any car. I take my bike everywhere, or I take public transportation if I have to go somewhere far."

Organice Your Agenda:

“I like giving lectures and teaching, especially to young children because they soak up the things they hear. I think education is something we should really put time into. I also think that the
 term “profit” making is shifting away from simply meaning money making and more towards making friends and doing the things that you love to do.”

Organice Yourself:

“I like going out, and I love dance music with a groove. For instance, the Supperclub in Amsterdam is a spot I like to go to with friends. O also like the Supperclub cd dJ Jorg made a lot. Without groovy music, I get sleepy.”

Organice Your Relationships:

“I've known my wife Joos for 47 years, and we’ve been married for 42 of those years. We have 2 children: our son Martin (30) & our daughter Gean (37). We have 2 grandchildren ages 6 and 1. and two bosom friends 
a man and a woman. I also enjoy spending time with young & fun people, it keeps me young as well!”

Organice Your Good Heart:

“A lot of the projects I am affiliated with are non-profit, like Happy Energy and the Frisian Solar Challenge."

Amsterdam, May 21st 2011 

 

In Memoriam Wubbo OckelsWubbo Ockels March 28th 1946 -  May 18th 2014

Read Wubbo Ockels' In Memoriam on the website of Happy Energy.

OYL Checklist - Wubbo Ockels May 21st 2011

OYL interview with Wubbo Ockels by Lonneke Engel May 21st 2011

Wubbo Ockels: Goodbye with a smile May 18th 2014

Text by Lonneke Engel. Photos by Alique. Copyright Organice Your Life®

 


FOOD IS THE NEW BLACK

TRENDS and TRENDSETTERS. Sometimes we love them or hate them, depending on our personal preferences in taste or style, but there's a new kid on the block and surprisingly, she's just as lovely on the inside as she looks on the outside, her name is real FOOD. No wonder everyone is falling in love.

foodisthenewblack

I came across this caption this morning 'Food is the new Black'. Love it. It sums up my concept of modern food preparation nicely. So I shared it on my Instagram. As many of you know, over the last couple of years I've poured my heart and soul into creating a book called 'Model Chocolate'.

Often in the not-so-distant-past, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, vegan or vegetarian food has been considered 'rabbit' or 'hippie food' by mainstream food lovers. I personally wanted to change that. When I came up with the idea of my 'superfood meets fashion' styled cookbook, my desire was that it would revolutionise the way people thought about 'healthy' foods, and to inspire them that alternative food preparation could be as interesting, delicious and even spunky as the food they were used to. Actually, healthful, nutritious and deliciously natural foods are much more than that! Real food, unprocessed, and prepared as close to nature as possible more than just satisfies. It helps to create the wonderful synergy within our bodies to inspire change on more than simply a physical level. It uplifts the way we think, the choices we make in other areas of our lives, and motivates inspiration to live richer lives than what we considered possible.

So let me encourage you to 'get your VOGUE on'! By that I mean go with the still-fairly-new trend of a healthier way of eating. Why not take the plunge and experience all that life has to offer you. It's becoming easier than ever to choose natural, organic, life-filled foods. Let's get behind a trend which will not only enrich our own lives, but make our world a truly better place, encouraging sustainable farming and produce which will in time become affordable for all. modelchocolatemodelchocVOGUE

 

Recently Vogue Australia shared my book in the health section of their magazine. This has been the highlight of my yet-young cookbook Author career.

<3 <3 <3

I'm excited about the food revolution. Are you?


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
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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


Vegan green curry

Vegan green seitan curry

Cooking is not difficult!

Today I made a delicious green vegan curry with seitan (a wheat gluten used as protein in a vegetarian diet), check it out!

Green vegan seitan curry recipe
A delicious vegan green curry with healthy ingredients

Author:

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • Thai white rice
  • Seitan (cut into cubes)
  • Green curry paste (as much to your liking)
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 small onions
  • 2 handfuls of string beans
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Fresh Coriander/Cilantro
  • 200 ml Coconut milk
  • a table spoon of Coconut oil
  • 1 can of organic fruit
  • Salt

Instructions
  1. Put the rice in water with a pinch of salt and heat to boil. Turn lower when boiling and depending on kind of rice cook to perfection.
  2. Get a pan and heat the coconut oil and stir fry the seitan.
  3. Put the seitan in a bowl.
  4. Add the garlic in the hot pan
  5. Stir fry the onions, and later on the peppers and string beans.
  6. Add the coconut milk and green curry paste (add more of the paste if you want the curry spicier or more coconut milk if you want it milder)
  7. Let simmer for 20 min
  8. At last moment add the seitan and coriander/cilantro.
  9. Drain the rice.
  10. Plate your food with the rice, green curry and 2 spoons of the canned organic fruits. (You can find these with no sugar added!)
  11. Add some fresh cilantro and a pinch of salt as you like it.
  12. Serve and enjoy!

I love simple recipes that are organic, vegetarian and/or vegan! They make you feel nourished with good vitamins and minerals and are not heavy on your stomach. Enjoy!

Love, Lonneke


Breakfast: babyfood grows up!

When I was young I always loved a "fruithapje". A dish made out of fruits and other delicious things for breakfast or as a snack.

Organice Your Life team member Dirk Verest and I played with the ingredients and came up with the following modern version of my preferred baby food!

Remember: the eye wants something too, so think of a fun way to display your food, like in a recycled glass jar! Dirk used a 400ml jar. Which he thought was the right size for the right amount of food for a full feeling during the rest of the morning.

Breakfast jar

Shopping list for 1:  (buy organic and local whenever possible)

- organic (Greek) yoghurt

-  1 Apple

-  1 Kiwi

- 1 Mango

- 1 Grapefruit

- About 2 tablespoons of Teff. a type of grain from Africa that is healthy & gluten free, which is Dirk's favorite grain, and which one spoon helps to keep the shredded fruits form a cohesive mass. (It has to soak up the fruitjuices) You can also try it without Teff, or try another dry breakfast product like oatmeal, Brinta, or Liga, but from our experience this works the best.

- handful of your preferred muesli.

How to make:

Add layers of yoghurt, muesli & shaved fruits in a jar.

This one has layers of:

fruits: * Shaved organic apple & mango, * Cut Kiwis in cubes between. *Mixed with Teff for fibers and essential minerals, * Fresh squeezed grapefruit juice.

Yoghurt: Greek organic yoghurt.

Crunch: organic crunchy muesli.

Costs: Less than a few dollars per person, maybe even less. It all depends on what fruits you put in that make the price go up. The more local and in season fruits you buy, the cheaper it is! Everything is for sale at a regular supermarket, the teff is only available in specialized organic food stores or for sale online.

breakfast jar 2

Enjoy!

Love, Lonneke 

 


The Art of Giving and Getting Back

Every year you have to do your taxes! I hope that in the last calendar year you contributed to a charity in some way, shape or form.  If not, start contributing now for next year’s tax return.

How to pick your charity of choice

If you are contemplating making a charitable contribution, make sure you make smart choices to maximize the benefits.  For example, when picking a charity you should inquire as to how the nonprofit is spending your money. You would want at least 75% of a donation to go towards a program. You can inquire about actual amounts of aid distributed and how the charity is fulfilling its mission.  If you are donating cash, you should write a check directly to the charity because if you pay with a credit card, charities lose 2% to 3% processing fees to the card issuer.  If you are shopping, be on the lookout for stores that donate a percentage of your purchase to a charity.  If you can’t afford to give money to many different charities, the smart choice is to focus on one or two charities so that your donation will have a greater impact.  Moreover, if you do not have cash to donate, giving your time or physical goods such as canned food and gently used clothing can have just as much of an impact.  Also, you should watch out for scams, which use names that are confusingly similar to legitimate charities.

Charitable donations can be tax deductions

If you have donated to charity, apart from helping others and boosting your own health and emotional well-being, on a practical level, your donations to charity are tax deductible expenses that can reduce your taxable income and lower your tax bill.  So you are giving and getting back. In order to be tax-deductible, you must ensure that you: (1) actually donate cash or property; (2) contribute to a qualified tax-exempt organization; (3) be able to itemize; and (4) meet record keeping requirements.  It’s time to use your organization skills and keep excellent records of your charitable contributions!

For deductions less than $250, you must obtain a receipt or letter showing the organization name, location, donation date, and item description, and you must keep a written record of:

  • The name and address of the organization to which you made your contribution
  • The date and location of the contribution
  • A reasonably detailed description of the property
  • The fair market value of the property at the time of the contribution, and how you computed the fair market value
  • Your cost or basis in the property
  • Whether there were any terms to your donation

For deductions more than $250 but less than $500, you must meet all documentation requirements for donations of less than $250, and ask for and keep a written acknowledgment of your contribution, with the following information:

  • A description of the donated property
  • Whether you were compensated for your donation
  • A good faith estimate of donated goods

For deductions more than $500 but less than $5,000, you must meet all documentation requirements for donations of more than $250 but less than $500, and you must make a record of how you acquired the property, the date of acquisition, and your basis in the property.

For deductions more than $5,000, you must meet all documentation requirements for donations of more than $500 but less than $5,000, and you must get a written appraisal from a qualified appraiser.

Donated items, such as cars, clothing, and household goods, must be in good condition.  You cannot make a deduction if the items are less than in good condition.  You should keep a detailed list of the non-cash goods you donated to charity, along with a description of their condition.

What contributions are not tax deductible

There are, however, contributions that are not tax deductible.  For example, contributions to political parties, political campaigns, or political action committees, individual people, professional associations, labor unions, chambers of commerce, or business associations, for-profit schools and hospitals, and foreign governments; and the value of your time for services rendered to a non-profit.  Therefore, make sure that if you want to claim a charitable deduction that the charity or philanthropic organization you select is a tax-qualified organization under IRS rules.

Charitable purchases are only deductible in the amount exceeding the worth of the item purchased.  For example, if you attend a gala dinner for $1,000 for a charitable organization, the deductible amount is equal to $1,000 minus the fair market value of the dinner.  If the cost of the actual dinner is $100, then you can deduct $900.  You should keep all documents for any and all of your charitable cash contributions.  You should have receipts from the charity, a cancelled check, or credit card statement to prove the donation.  Even though you don’t need to mail in the receipts with your tax return, in the event the IRS decides to audit you, you will then be able to show supporting documentation.  Generally, household and personal items may be deducted at their fair market value. A good way to get the fair market value of an item is to determine what the item would sell for at a garage sale, flea market, or thrift store.

I hope these general tidbits help you maneuver your way through your charitable contributions this year.  You should definitely consult a lawyer or tax advisor if you have questions regarding your specific situation.  If you make smart choices and keep organized, everyone will be able to benefit from your charitable contributions!

NOTE: The information contained in this article is intended to provide general information and does not constitute legal or tax advice. The content is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, or up-to-date. This article is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship between you and the author, and you should not act or rely on any information in this article without seeking the advice of an attorney and tax advisor. First published in 2012.