Bad & douche Bee Honest - Honing in een potje

Jules and Louis blog - bad en douche Bee Honest de Traay - lavendel en sinaasappel

Bee Honest, een fantastische naam voor een dierproefvrije zeep die natuurlijk en ook milieuvriendelijk is. Ik kende het niet, maar blijkbaar is het een product uit de verzorgingslijn van de Traay, Bee Honest cosmetics. De Traay is jullie waarschijnlijk meer bekend van de honing die ze maken. Honing in een potje... Ik ken De Traay al jaren, van de lekkere biohoning die mijn ouders kochten in de reformwinkel in Merksem vroeger, en van de stuifmeelkorrels en propolis die mijn ouders me regelmatig gaven in de winterperiode. 

Mijn huid is nogal jeukerig de laatste tijd na een douche of bad, en ik vermoed dat ik nogal gevoelig ben geworden aan bepaalde zeep en verzorgingsproducten. Ik heb altijd wel een overgevoelige huid gehad, maar de jeuk is bij bepaalde zepen wel veel erger tegenwoordig. Daarom dus dat ik op zoek ging naar iets wat aangenaam is voor mijn huid, en ook goed is voor het milieu. Bij mijn bezoekje aan Holland & Barret kwam ik toevallig een paar flessen bad & douche van Bee Honest van De Traay tegen, en ik nam een fles mee om uit te proberen thuis.

Ik wist helemaal niet dat De Traay ook een heuse cosmeticalijn had, en dat al vanaf 1993! Wanneer ik er wat meer over ging lezen, vond ik dit leuke stukje achtergrondinformatie dat ik wel wilde delen hier...

Een stukje geschiedenis over het ontstaan van De Traay

In 1972 was Wouter Vuijk, oprichter van De Traay, student zilversmid. Hij combineerde zijn studie met zijn passie voor gezond eten en opende een klein biologisch winkeltje in zijn studentenkamer. Bij een plaatselijke imker kocht hij allerlei lekkernijen die hij weer verkocht in zijn winkeltje. Wouter raakte bevriend met de imker die zijn interesse wekte voor het houden van bijen . Al vrij snel besloot Wouter dan ook om zijn eerste, eigen bijenkasten te kopen.

Een aantal jaren later, in 1977, begon Wouter zijn eigen imkerij in Leersum. De imkerij lag aan de Traayweg, ooit een kronkelige zandweg tussen Leersum en Doorn: vandaar dus de naam “de Traay”! Ondertussen is De Traay enorm gegroeid en verhuisd naar Lelystad, maar zo zie je maar hoe je hobby kan uitgroeien tot iets groots...

Jules and Louis Blog - bad en douche Bee Honest de Traay - lavendel en sinaasappel close-up

Bee Honest

Wat mijn pa altijd zei, is helemaal waar: honing is een natuurlijk product dat lekker is, licht verteerbaar, goed is om te eten én goed om bijvoorbeeld op (brand)wonden te smeren. Helpt ontzettend goed tegen ontstekingen ook, en smeert de keel - ik begin altijd met een lepel honing als ik keelpijn voel opkomen tijdens de koude wintermaanden.

Het is een natuurlijk product dat niet alleen erg lekker is, maar ook verzorgende eigenschappen bevat voor huid en haar. Met Bee Honest cosmeticaproducten vermelden ze duidelijk waar het om gaat: een duidelijke link wordt gelegd naar de honing (de Traay) en de bijen. Honest refereert ook naar lief (honey), want dat willen ze zijn voor de natuur en zichzelf, én naar eerlijk want dat zijn ze zeker met hun ingrediënten en intenties.

Iedereen weet ondertussen dat bijen met uitsterven worden bedreigd. En iedereen weet: zonder bijen is er geen koffie, chocola en vele fruit-, groente- en notensoorten. Wat een ramp zou zijn voor elke liefhebber van chocola! Daarom dat ik ook zoveel mogelijk bloemetjes in mijn tuin wil hebben, die zoveel mogelijk vlinders én bijtjes aantrekt. Lekker fleurig, lekker geurig en lekker voor die bijtjes. En blijkbaar zet ook Bee Honest zich in voor de bijen. Ze kopen de honing zoveel mogelijk van regionale Europese imkerijen. Daarnaast zijn ze actief betrokken bij het verbeteren van het leefmilieu van de bijen. 

Bee Honest cosmetics gaat zelfs een stap verder dan natuurlijk en bio: in de producten waar honing in wordt gebruikt, zit biologische fairtrade honing en ze ondersteunen projecten die de natuur en de bijen een handje helpen. Goed om weten: al hun producten hebben een gecontroleerde kwaliteitsgarantie van BDIH, dus ze bevatten geen synthetische geur-, kleurstof-, of conserveringsmiddelen. En de verpakkingen zijn zo min mogelijk belastend voor het milieu. Het allerleukste is dat dit groene merk heel betaalbaar is. Groen, mooi en (h)eerlijk dus.

Jules and Louis Blog - bad en douche Bee Honest de Traay - honing in een potje

Wat ik ervan vind?

Deze fles van 500ml kostte 9,99 euro bij Holland & Barrett, maar je kan ze ook online vinden bij Big Green Smile. En wat ik ervan vond na gebruik? De zeep is zacht, lopend, heeft een donkere honingkleur en geurt natuurlijk. Helemaal niet overdreven. Ik rook echt een mooi evenwicht tussen honing, lavendel en de frisse geur van sinaasappel. Het schuimde niet overdreven (wat voor mij niet hoeft) en droogde mijn huid absoluut niet uit. Goed voor een gevoelige huid dus! Ik kwam dan ook niet jeukend terug uit mijn douche, fantastisch toch?! Als deze fles op is, koop ik direct een nieuwe. Zo leuk en goed vind ik hem. En let's bee honest: je bent ook nog eens lief voor de bijtjes en het milieu, dus dan voel je je toch extra goed? 

Hadden jullie al van Bee Honest cosmetics gehoord? Ooit al wat geprobeerd van hen, of van de Traay honing? En wat vinden jullie ervan? Zouden jullie het proberen?

alle foto’s door Inge voor Jules & Louis.

BOOK REVIEW: SNAP!

I recently bought the book SNAP! Photographing with your smartphone, as a present for myself. A girl can pamper herself, right?

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As a blogger you always want to present your best pictures to your lovely readers. Most of the times I don't have my camera with me (for the obvious reason that it is too heavy to bring with me), but I always carry around my other friend: the smartphone! But I get frustrated sometimes. I know what my limitations are when taking quick snaps, so I wanted to do something about it this year. One of my goals was to pretty up my Instagram, take more and better pictures and post more on this blog. 

Recently I bought this pretty darling book called Snap! Photographing with your smartphone, written by Anki from the well-known Dutch blog Zilverblauw. I really hoped this book would be a great help for future pictures...

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And I really believe it will. I find Snap! so helpful. Anki explains everything really simple and clear, with helpful tips or useful DIY you can try yourself. Also, the cover of the book is very instaproof for bloggers like me! Soft pink, my favourite! And as a book worm I also love pretty book covers as these ones. Yep, call me a book cover geek, haha. 

But the content of the book is as pretty as the cover. And useful! She talks about difficult terms as diafragma, ISO & white balance in a fun, simple way - I love that. Because even I have bought books when I got my first camera where too many technical terms got me so overwhelmed and I lost interest in photography - thinking it was nothing for me. I'm more a visual and intuitive person, technical tutorials don't do the trick for me usually. I need to do things, and get them explained while I'm doing it and in this book you can see many before and afters and how she does things. It's really a practical book and so inspiring you'll just want to start and take pictures!

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The book Snap! has different chapters. Starting with the basics, composition and of course a lot of creative tips and tricks. I feel like I will need a lot of practice when it comes to the creative tips - one of Anki's tips is to choose a theme and shoot a whole serie of pictures in that theme. As an example she shows a range of pretty pink buildings in this book, being the soft pink buildings as the common theme in the range of pictures. By being creative and coming out of your comfort zone, you look completely different at the world. As Anki says: photography is writing with light. Looking at the world with your eyes is always unique, and your camera/smartphone is your tool to show what you see. She really shows how you can see the beauty in the world, if you just try and practice more.

What I find extremely helpful in this book is when I learned I can edit my shutter speed on my smartphone... Never knew that was possible! So I'm definitely going to play around with that now, using the tools and apps she recommended in this book. The last chapter of the book is all about Instagram, where Anki explains which pictures are more likeable and which hashtags you can use. Also very useful to me - I need to dive deeper now and get everything ready to improve my Insta-game! 

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Overall, this book is definitely a must when you're a blogger or busy on social media and you'd love to get better at taking "snaps" with your smartphone. You'll definitely get inspired by the pretty, fun and colourful pictures used in this book!

I found mine at Standaard Boekhandel for 16,99 euros and I don't regret buying it at all! Love this book!

BOOK REVIEW | EASY NORDIC

This cook book is all about easy Nordic living, great food, friends, togetherness, Hygge... the little things in life that make you happy.
Jules and Louis Blog - Book Review - Easy Nordic

Last Wednesday I was invited to a book launch, held at the design store Corifeo I love visiting! Remember my last post here? Dagny Rós Asmundsdóttir has written her second cook book, Easy Nordic. It is her personal ode to the Icelandic way of living. The book also speaks about hygge, in life and in the kitchen. Or as I would love to translate hygge as a relaxing, easy Scandinavian lifestyle that we Belgians should adopt as well. I mean, how much better can it get... coming together, enjoying, sharing and cooking delicious food with family and friends? And without stress? Count me in!

Jules and Louis Blog - Book Review - Easy Nordic
Jules and Louis Blog - book review - Easy Nordic - salad

Dagny has moved to Antwerp, Belgium from Iceland some years ago and hell, is this woman passionate about cooking! I first saw her on tv, and I immediately loved her quirky, modern way of cooking!  She inherited the genious gen of cooking from her grandmother, mum and aunts. Her style is modern, with lots of influences from over the whole world. Funny when I say this, but I always get hungry when I see her preparing food. Dagny is the only cook who can make me hungry, after Jamie Oliver. :-)

At the book launch I was able to meet her in person and got to talk to her for a few minutes. She is so sweet and spontaneous! Totally the same when you watch her on tv. She's down-to-earth and just her pretty, talented and kind self. I also had a chance to taste a few of the dishes she prepared, that also show up in her new cook book. It was actually her son of 16 who recommended to taste a few of his personal favourites. 

Jules and Louis Blog - Book Review - Easy Nordic - fire and ice tea

And boy, I loved everything I tasted! There was so much to choose from! There was a whole range of cheeses and charcuterie, fruits and other yummy food styled on big wooden boards and cakes, dips, breads,... for foodies this was paradise! I know my mum would have loved it! I especially loved her pulled bread with cheese, cranberries and thyme - that one was so yummy, just like the simple plate with cheesy ricotta, pepper and pomegranates. Oh and let's not forget the super delicious cake with chocolate, peanuts and cream: that cake was to die for! 

Jules and Louis Blog - Book Review - Easy Nordic - food and cheese
Jules and Louis Blog - Book Review - Easy Nordic - food

So when I went home with Dagny's latest cook book, I was so curious to see what kind of recipes she shared. I started reading her cook book immediately! And I loved it. I honestly love her style and her recipes. I must admit, I'm not like my mum - I don't talk as much about food as my mum does, but we do love to go through cook books sometimes for parties or little dinners. My mum is the one who gives me ideas to make or change certain recipes, and I love her for that. And she also owns too many cook books - I honestly lost count!! Me, I don't buy a lot of cook books to be completely honest with you. The ones I own, are the ones I truly read and go through and the recipes in them are simple to make. Only Bill Granger, Jamie Oliver and Donna Hay are the ones that made it on my kitchen shelves. And I'm pretty happy Dagny's book is now on my shelf as well! 

The fun part about the whole cook book is that you truly get to know Dagny a little better. She shares her stories and truly gives examples on what hygge in the kitchen is to her. She also talks about her life and how she got to cooking and where her love from cooking comes from - which makes the book so much more personal. With this cook book she wants to say to all those people who say they have no time to cook healthy, easy recipes: cooking is relaxing. It is easy. It is about taking it easy. And when great food is shared with great friends and family, it is the togetherness that is remembered. 

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Details cook book Easy Nordic

- 2nd cook book by Dagny Rós
- 1st cook book: Easy Iceland
- Published by: Manteau
- Price: 24,99 euro

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD BY HARPER LEE

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When I first picked up this book, I was at a small bookstore located at the movies theatre in Antwerp. The shop owner recommended me the book. I wanted to read it, because it is a true American classic and I was intrigued by the story. I was also intrigued by the fact that Harper Lee only wrote two books and I wondered why. I admire her for writing two thick novels, but it kept me wondering why she stopped after two. 

To Kill A Mockingbird takes place in Alabama during the Great Depression. The story is told by the youngest of the two children, Jean Louise 'Scout' Finch. She and her brother are living and going to school in a sleepy Southern town where they are growing up with their father Atticus. A well-known and respected lawyer with high moral standards that eventually gets a lot of critic when he decides to defend a black man, Tom, that gets assaulted for rape. Things change rapidly for the two kids of Atticus from then on.

At the beginning I found the story took off a bit slow. It read slow. Not a lot of exciting things happen at first. But when I finally finished the book, I realised that Harper Lee put so many meanings into this novel. It is basically about ethics. It focuses on your gut instinct of what is right and wrong. 

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The book itself was published in 1960 and when you go back, it was a changing period in history in America. Women's rights and black rights movements were beginning to emerge. In the time setting of the book, the Great Depression, when rights for black people had only just been won, the odds are cruelly turned against lawyer Atticus Finch and his black client. I thought it was so unfair, like his children, but than I realised: inequality is everywhere. When you come to think of this book, that seems so simple and maybe boring to some, for the children in this novel inequality is indeed everywhere. It is hidden in everyday actions, comments they pick up. Colour, race, background - these are all values that the adults of the little Southern town in the novel hold so dear. It only takes these two children with their open mind to see how very wrong they are.


Here's more about the book (via Goodreads):

The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Price in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior - to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as masterpiece of American literature.

All photos taken by Inge Picqueur for Jules & Louis.


THE LOVERS BY EMMA STRAUB

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My love of books go way back, when I was 8 years old, to be exact. I had picked up reading very well and my parents gifted me the book "The Witches" by Roald Dahl. It was a Christmas gift I will forever remember, because I finished the book in a blink of an eye. The warm feelings a book can give you, or a memory, well, that pretty much sums it up. The warm cosy feelings of Christmas and having that great book on your lap you can't stop reading? That's the reason why I always try and read books. 

For a long time I didn't read, because I simply didn't create time to do it. When I did start again, I felt happy. Relaxed. A book really helps me to fall asleep better when I read it before bedtime too. And for the longest time I have always wanted to become Roald Dahl: a children's book author. And illustrate my own books. In a way that's still one of my dreams though. That is probably why you can always find me somewhere in a book store. That's something you can wake me up for!

Do you remember the movie You’ve Got Mail with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks?  Well, the quaint bookstore of Meg Ryan in the movie made me dream of owning the same sweet shop. That space is filled to the rim with books of all sorts. Wherever I am, I always will enter a cute looking bookstore (or any other book shop) and buy a book! I literally could spend hours in a bookshop, perusing the shelves of fiction, non fiction, cookbooks, children’s reads, etc. It’s my type of store where I always end up walking out with too much have-to-have items...

I just finished To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and shared some of my thoughts about it here. Although the story read a bit slow in the beginning, it has had me thinking to this day. How racism is still very much alive, sadly enough. After so many years when Martin Luther King who once spoke about his dream, I really wonder when people will be able to live next to each other without any prejudices, without any anger or hate... 

Jules and Louis Blog | close up book The Lovers by Emma Straub - glasses on stack of books

Now onto this book, I picked up this book in Holland on a lazy summer Sunday when we were strolling around and I had to enter this little bookshop (and I couldn't leave without buying a book...). As I had read a lot of raving reviews about Emma Straub's first novel The Vacationers I had gotten curious. Sadly I couldn't find her first novel The Vacationers so I bought this novel. In Modern Lovers Emma Straub allows us to take a peek into the lives of four friends who are living in Brooklyn and are in the middle of a midlife crisis. In one way or another, they are all looking back with loads of nostalgia at their younger years. While their own teenage kids are almost grown up themselves, problems are rising until the point where the friends are wondering: "is this everything the adult life has to offer?" I really enjoyed this book. At first I had a bit of trouble getting along, but it was because Emma navigates from character to character by shifting point of views. It was a bit confusing when I started reading, but it quickly grew on me. For some reason I could really relate, because it is all about balancing your relationships and what a difficult task it can be. I don't want to give too much away, so I suggest you reading it yourself! 


For everyone who is interested in picking up this book (I read the Dutch translation: "Onder Ons"), here is how the story goes (via Goodreads):

From the New York Times‒bestselling author of The Vacationers, a smart, highly entertaining novel about a tight-knit group of friends from college—their own kids now going to college—and what it means to finally grow up well after adulthood has set in.

Friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring.

Back in the band's heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her Midwestern smile, Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adults' lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them—can never be reclaimed.

Straub packs wisdom and insight and humor together in a satisfying book about neighbors and nosiness, ambition and pleasure, the excitement of youth, the shock of middle age, and the fact that our passions—be they food, or friendship, or music—never go away, they just evolve and grow along with us.

Photos taken by Inge Picqueur for Jules and Louis.