MY ABC OF IMPORTANT THINGS
There are a lot of important things, one of them is you.
Almost a year ago I took Susannah Conway's e-course Blogging From The Heart. And I was inspired by something particular she wrote. At one point she told in her course that it can be difficult as a blogger to come up with fresh, new content. As a blogger it is something I struggle with, too. And since my new blog and website was partially born to put more of myself into it, I thought her idea of the ABC-list of important things in your life was such a great one. That is why I had to share my own list. Here I go...
A is for Antwerp. Antwerp is the capital of the province of Antwerp. I'm born and raised in Brasschaat, which is a green, lush town situated in the province of Antwerp. It's a good 15 minute-drive from the city of Antwerp where you can sometimes find me and my hubby shopping and enjoying nights out with friends. When I'm in Brasschaat or in the city of Antwerp, I always feel like coming home.
B is for Books. Books were always important to me. My very first book was a gift from my parents at the age of 9: The Witches by Roald Dahl. My second book was Matilda. I loved every story of him that I started collecting all of his books he has ever written. Dahl became a hero, a big example to me as a little girl. And still now, after all these years, he is the reason why I dream of becoming a writer someday. To write stories for everyone in my own little shed. To share my thoughts with the world.
C is for Cupcakes. My mother and husband say I know how to cook a great meal, but the thing I love most is baking. That's a love I inherited from my mother. She was always baking cakes, bread, cupcakes, apple pies and what not when I was little. The home always smelled so wonderful, I still get transported to my childhood when I'm baking. My favourite things to make with my new Kitchenaid robot, is pizza and cupcakes. And my oldest boy loves it too!
D is for Drawing. I guess I have been drawing since I knew how to hold a pencil. When my grandparents or parents took me out to a restaurant, the first thing they gave me was a piece of paper and pencils. I drew and drew (or coloured) and amused myself the whole time without nagging. It is still something that can get me in this flow, where I don't hear a thing. I should do it more often, because it relaxes me.
E is for Ecofriendly. My mother got sick at a very young age. Around her 30's she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. My dad read a pile of books on homeopathy, macrobiotic living and cooking, when he finally took the decision to change our diet and our way of living. For almost 10 years we only ate organic, biological food, we lived as vegetarians and my parents taught me how to live more ecofriendly and how to recycle. Growing up that was normal to me, now I'm older and having children myself, I see the importance of protecting our planet and educating my kids how important it is to go for more greener options.
F is for Friends. I never had a big bunch of friends. I'm an introvert, so I'm more of a one-to-one person. The friendships I have with some people are becoming better and closer with age. And I know I can depend on them and I hope they know that I'm always there when they need me. That I'm someone who listens to their problems or worries. I love them. And they know who they are. ;)
G is for Gold. Gold is the colour of my wedding ring. It is also a beautiful colour that naturally attracts my eye. It adds warmth. I just love it. It's like friendships and things in life: when they're good, they're golden.
H is for Home. Oh yes, home is important to me. If I don't have to go away, I love to stay at home. That is where I feel safe, comfortable and happy. I guess you could say I'm a homebody.
I is for Intuition. Next to introvert I'm also good at intuitive feeling. I can pick up how someone feels intuitively. Sometimes a great thing, but it can also be very tiring...
J is for Journaling. Writing has also been a big thing in my life. My first diary or journal was gifted by my grandparents when I was 12. I loved writing down what I did on special days and although I don't journal anymore, I think of my blog as the new journal where I can share my thoughts and ideas, only online.
K is for Kids. My two boys are my life. When I was a bit younger, my husband and I had a lot of discussions on when to have kids. I thought I was always going to be single, have no kids and travel a lot. Life has a funny way... Turns out I'm not single but married with children and travel is almost non-existent on our schedule these days. Haha! But how I love my kids! They're the love of my life. And they're my everything, the apples of my eyes. :)
L is for Love. Self-love, the love for your own children, the love I feel for my husband and family. We don't always feel it that way, but if you start thinking about it, we love a lot. And we have to keep doing that! The world is a better place with a lot more love.
M is for Mother. My mother is such a beautiful woman inside and out. She is the best cook in the world, she is so strong in everything she does. How she copes with her M.S. since an early age is amazing. I respect her. She is both my mother and my best friend. Not a day goes by without a little phone call. Even if it is for just 5 minutes, I always call my mum. My dad is also important, but mum is the one I tell everything. From secrets, questions about how to deal with things, worries to stupid jokes. I just love her to bits!
N is for Notebooks. I admit: I'm an addict. I love buying cute notebooks. I don't know why, but something about them makes me want them. A new, fresh, unwritten notebook holds so much freshness and fun. I usually cannot wait to start writing in them. Usually I jot down my ideas, my plans, my dreams and things I need to do. And if the cover holds a beautiful quote, I'm definitely sold. I'm such a sucker for notebooks with beautiful quotes. ; )
O is for Om. That's the mantra I always "sing" when doing yoga. At first I found it a bit funny when I took my first yoga class. It was something I couldn't do when I first started yoga. Om sounded so weird... almost laughable. I feel sorry for writing this, but it was how I felt the first time. And now I realise that this little word helped me to breathe better when doing yoga. I find it helpful chanting that om word, because it helps me to breathe out longer. I only have to read a bit more about om and yoga... Because I'm not sure what it means.
P is for Pictures. Photos and pictures are important to me. Just like my grandmother whose home is filled with pictures of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren I think pictures in a home make it feel more "homey". I definitely have pictures hanging and standing everywhere in my own home.
Q is for Quiet. I have not a single problem with being alone or with being quiet. It helps me to lose stress and to think more clearer. Peace and quiet are definitely helping me to get more energy. I love to be alone once in a while, I enjoy the silence.
R is for Roots. Never forget where you came from. Your roots can tell so much about yourself, your life and the history of your family. Since I'm always interested in history, I think it is important to remember where your roots lie. My husband's are in Bruges, mine are in the province of Antwerp, so those two places will always be special to us.
S is for Spirit. You have people with spirit, creative spirits and spirits who are always close to you. The last thing may sound a bit spiritual and eccentric, but I do like to believe that are loved ones up in heaven are sometimes really close to you. It comforts me to think this. Call me crazy. : )
T is for Tea. Yes, tea! I love a cupcake and a hot cup of tea, a book or a magazine, my dog Lilly and a blanket. I don't need anything more for having a perfect relaxing afternoon.
U is for USA. What can I say? My husband and I love the USA. Ever since I was 18, I had been dreaming of a big road trip through the USA. Only in 2008, ten years later, I visited the Big Apple for 10 days with my husband. It's still one of our favourite cities in the world! After visiting the West coast and a trip through Florida we have been bitten. We're only waiting for our two boys to grow up and to save a little bit more money to hopefully go back someday!
V is for VTWonen. A Dutch interior magazine that is also very popular in Belgium. And it is simply my favourite magazine to read.
W is for Wanderlust. To travel is so important for your soul. You learn and discover new places, new cultures, you meet new people... And you learn so much about yourself too when you travel. It is great to have wanderlust forever.
X is for X-Mas. Ok, ok. I'm a bit Christmas-crazy, but there is something about the twinkle lights and the smell of christmas trees that make me go wild when the season is there to be celebrating. Not only is December the month of my birthday and of my oldest son, it is also the time to decorate the home with as much lights as I can find. Usually I cannot wait until December to start decorating for the holidays. Yup. Call me crazy.
Y is for Yoga. Besides dancing it is another love of mine. I never ever thought that it would help me, but it does. It stretches you, makes your muscles more softer and it helps you in ways you didn't know possible. I know I had a lot of prejudice before I started yoga, but I'm a fan now.
Z is for Zen. Being zen and quiet inside of yourself is a state of zen. A state of peace inside of you. I try to meditate when I'm not doing yoga, especially just right before bedtime. Or when I'm stressed out or when I feel like it and it has been transforming me ever since. Everyone should do a bit of meditation everyday, I think people would be a lot more happier.
Photo credits: Love & Light Photography