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Reflecting on 2016

on Thursday, December 29, 2016
This past year (and a half) had been like a rollercoaster ride. I took a break to find the cause of my chronic pain and fatigue, I banned all sources of stress and just relaxed (something I didn't even know how to do), I had a mental breakdown, I felt exhausted and I lost all hope, to now, I have accepted what happened in the past and I am proud of the person I have become. This is a big accomplishment for someone who had no self-love and low self esteem. I realised that all my life, I had been working really hard to prove that I wasn't crazy, that I didn't lie, that I was "normal", that I wasn't worthless, that I was special, that I deserved to be loved (I found out that there is a thing called "unconditional love), that I was right (I told you so!), that I was smart, that I came out of the horrible past unharmed, that I wasn't a "bad" girl like everyone around me kept telling (aka brainwashing) me, that I am capable of achieving big things, etc. I was so focussed on that, that I lost track of what was really important, what I wanted, and what made me happy instead of others.

Review: Magnum Mini Mauritshuis collection - white chocolate and pistachio

on Saturday, December 17, 2016
This winter, Magnum has introduced the Magnum Mini Mauritshuis collection in two different, limited edition flavors: white chocolate & pistachio and milk chocolate & hazelnut. They were inspired by the paintings "The Goldfinch" by Fabritius and "The girl with the pearl earring" by Vermeer, which you can find at the Mauritshuis, a museum in The Hague, the Netherlands.

They are exclusively available at the Albert Heijn supermarkets and the online store. For €3.99, you get a beautiful square box with the painting on the front and with 5 mini chocolate ice cream bars inside.

Review Magnum Mini Mauritshuis collection white chocolate and pistachio

Review: Marks & Spencer breakfast products

on Wednesday, December 14, 2016
I used to skip breakfast, as I never had an appetite for it. I am not sure if it is because of the anxiety about going to school (I always felt "different" from the rest and it was hard for me to adjust to the group) or that I just ate enough during dinner time and that I didn't feel hungry yet the next morning. Nowadays, I have started to enjoy eating breakfast. Especially, with the cold weather. I sometimes wake up earlier to make a warm breakfast, such as the pumpkin rice porridge, of which I shared a recipe before on my blog.

Since I don't have much experience eating an elaborate breakfast every morning (suggestions are very welcome!), I was starting to run out of ideas. Luckily, Marks & Spencer has a lot of breakfast products that I had never seen or tried before. After paying many visits to their stores, I was able to try a lot of breakfast products that wouldn't look too bad on the Christmas brunch table.

In total, I will review 7 breakfast products, ranging from pancakes, scones, bread, and sweet pastry. I have shown this on my blog before, but I want to mention it again that the Marks and Spencer sesame bagels are great buys too. If you think that they are a bit too expensive, I have seen them getting discounted very often after 17:00. Most of the times, I visit the Marks & Spencer store in The Hague and Amsterdam after a long day of shopping and right before I go back to Rotterdam (in case, I buy food that needs to stay cool). I always see food items with yellow stickers on them, discounted to a more affordable price.

Marks & Spencer sultana danish

Marks & Spencer sultana Danish

One pack contains two hand twisted Danish pastries filled with lemon custard and sultanas with fondant icing topping. I really liked the almost croissant like pastry covered with a sweet, sugary fondant icing. In the center, there are some sultanas, with just a tiny bit of lemon custard here and there.