HOW TO CREATE THE PERFECT STAYCATION AT HOME

We may be a few months away from taking off on an adventure, but that doesn’t mean we can’t indulge ourselves and bring vacation-like experiences into our homes. One of the best things about going away is having access to things we usually wouldn’t grant ourselves on a daily basis.

But fear not. There’s plenty you can do in your own home to make the mundane feel exciting and fresh once again, just as if you were on vacation. Here’s how to create a the perfect staycation, at home.

The atmosphere should evoke a love nest environment.

THE BEDROOM

Close your eyes: think about checking in at your favourite hotel and the excitement that builds as you walk towards your chambre. When you open the door the room is clean, it’s tidy. The bed is inviting with fresh linen and plump cushions. There’s minimal clutter. So, what can you do within the next 10 minutes to make your bedroom look the best it’s ever been? Change your sheets, light a candle, put jazz on the radio and put away whatever might be on ‘the chair’. Turn the main light off and illuminate your bedroom with lamps. Find out how to turn your house into a hotel!

Staycation, bedroom

THE LIVING ROOM

Your living area should inspire creativity and calmness at the same time. It’s a room that will provide escapism during your staycation. If you’re getting board of your surroundings, change things up. Swap the pictures around on the walls. Move furniture to maximise the space and provide more ‘zen’. Rearrange your bookshelf and rediscover books that haven’t had your attention in a while. A re-fresh every couple of weeks can do wonders if you’re spending so much time in one space.

Staycation in your home, living space

WHAT’S COOKING

If you’re working in your kitchen every day, hunched over your laptop on the table, think of the best hotel lobbies you’ve ever walked through. They’re places you want to hang out. Why? Because they have buzz and ambience. Try to recreate this by buying fresh flowers to keep beside you. A living thing to admire daily is good for the soul. Again, get the lighting right. Sit near an open window when you work for natural light, it’ll boost your energy. Make sure you’ve got yourself a cocktail or mocktail to look forward to at 5pm, with the ingredients sitting just in sight to tempt you over at 4.45pm.

Staycation, kitchen

SPATIME IN THE BATHROOM

Lastly, let’s visit the bathroom. AKA the staycation spa. Start off by cleaning everything, washing your towels and de-cluttering. Dig out your favourite bubble bath and body lotion that you were saving for a special occasion, there has never been a more important time to invest in yourself, you are worth it. To create a sanctuary, add a plant to bring a bit of nature inside. Light a match and indulge in the smoky smell, it’ll also clear away any other unwanted odors. Lastly, hang up your cosy dressing gown and pop your slippers underneath for a final touch of luxury.

Staycation at home, Spa bathroom

Happy staycation! Stay stay, relaxed and happy.

Stephanie

THIS IS HOW YOU TURN YOUR BEDROOM INTO A HOTEL

Since we are all home-bound until further notice, a little comfort and luxury in your own house is not a bad idea. Be kind to yourself and treat yourself once in a while.

We had a little peek in a few of our favourite hotels in the Netherlands and we are happy to give you some tips so that you can get the luxurious hotel feeling in your own home. Enjoy it!

Fresh breakfast in bed | QO

Nothing is more delicious than a lazy Sunday morning, because say your day starts just a bit nicer when you can start nice and quiet. Breakfast in bed, good company and a newspaper with it; do nothing at all. But why wait until Sunday? After all, you can organise your own room service every morning of the week! Every morning at Persijn, the restaurant in the QO in Amsterdam, a fresh take-away breakfast including a bread basket, boiled egg and yogurt with fruit is waiting for you. To give it a more luxurious touch, you can serve it at home on a made-up tray. For example, use linen napkins and your most beautiful tableware for an extra bit of flair. An extra tip from our side, prepare some nice glasses with your favourite and healthy juice!

Hotel take away

For the hard worker | BOAT & CO

Working at home sounds nice, of course, but it often does not always benefit productivity. You are regularly distracted by your partner / child / pet and as a result the work piles up. But yes, a fully equipped workplace is not for everyone. Of course you can try to make the best of it. Hotel BOAT & CO will help you out. Every day, the hotel rooms will transform into flexible workplaces from 9 to 5. There is enough space to get started actively, creatively and positively. Balance is key here so give yourself enough breaks, take time for a healthy lunch in the available kitchen or do a yoga session in between. Keep an eye on the Instagram & Facebook of BOAT & CO for the fine yoga classes of Tatiana Capozzoli from i move amsterdam. Workspots can be booked from €39 via 020 246 1500.

Working Hotel Boat & Co

Stimulate your creativity | BLOOMING

Because more time is left and you relax more, more creativity will automatically arise. And hotel blooming thinks this is important. The hotel itself is a source of inspiration due to the beautiful surroundings, nature and the colourful and quiet interior. Blooming previously released a bath book. She set up a writing competition and gave undiscovered writers the opportunity to submit a story. Do you also want to make your writing dream come true? Then keep an eye on badboek.nl.

Blooming shared five tips with you:

  • Daydreaming. Try to do nothing for a few hours and let your mind wander. Take notes if something special comes to mind;
  • Describe the story in a few sentences;
  • Describe the main characters in a few sentences as if you know them through and through;
  • Although the writing itself is a nice process, it helps to make a planning with purpose and end date; Just write!

Writing hotel

Extra Tips

  • Use all those small hotel toiletries that you still have left from your recent travels
  • Treat yourself to some new sheets, hotel quality! Our favourites are Crispsheets
  • Buy an expensive scented candle, hey, it’s OK to treat yourself!

Do you want more tips during lockdown?

11x LOW COST HOBBIES YOU CAN DO FROM HOME

Suddenly it is no longer a possibility to go to the cinema, to eat out, to go to the gym, or to have a drink on a terrace. We need to stay at home, but how do we get through those sudden oceans of time?

Well, it’s the perfect moment to discover a new hobby! Here are 11x Low Cost Hobbies you can practise from home.

Paint

Regardless whether you have an artistic talent or not, it is very relaxing to scribble something on canvas. Order or buy some brushes, paper and paint at your local craft or hobby store and let your creativity run free! No idea what to paint? Have a look on Pinterest and gather images for inspiration.

paint from home

Photography

We always have a camera in our pocket since the arrival of smartphones, but not many of us actually pay attention to lightning, composition and subject. Furthermore, photography is a technical but also a very creative hobby. There are many blogs and videos on the internet that will help you get started!

Cooking

Go experimenting in the kitchen! Try out different recipes that you like and give your personal twist to it. How cool would it be when you serve an extra-ordinary culinary experience to friends that is made by you? If you are a parent, ask your kids to join in! (here are some tips to keep your kid(s) occupied during lockdown)

Hobbies from home, cooking

Writing

Writing is a broad concept and can range from blogging to writing stories or poetry. Besides; writing down your thoughts clears your head. You can use it as a personal outlet to share what you find interesting. Ever wondered how Wander-Lust grew out to be a successful travel platform? Find out how to create a (travel) blog.

Clean & Order

Even though this may not be the most fun hobby, it’s a very rewarding one. Clean out your wardrobe and get rid of all those garments that have been lying there for years and only take up space. Tip: sell your clothes on United Wardrobe and earn some extra money! I personally love second-hand and vintage shopping as you find unique pieces and it is a more sustainable way of shopping.

Reading

People who read a lot can enrich themselves enormously with insights and knowledge. You don’t have to limit yourself to fiction, you can also look for informative books that interest you. Get inspired by a good book about a topic you like! We’ve lined up 8x books that will inspire you!

Gardening

Did you know that gardening is one of the most popular leisure activities among the Dutch?  Being surrounded by flowers, plants and seeing something that you’ve planted grow with your own eyes – isn’t that wonderful? Consequently you can also create a little vegetable garden and use your own herbs / vegetables for cooking!

Hobbies, gardening

Learn how to play an instrument

Perhaps you still have that old guitar or keyboard in the attic? Otherwise you can score an instrument at a thrift store or marktplaats.nl. In this digital age you can easily teach yourself music skills by watching videos on YouTube.

Learn a new language

Mastering extra languages always come in handy. Admit it, how nice would it be if you could order your pizza in Italian on holiday in Italy? There are countless blogs and videos available on the internet that can teach you another language. By the end of the Corona crisis you may be speaking a new language!

Start sewing!

In the first place, sewing isn’t just for grandmothers anymore. Sewing has been proven to be relaxing for the mind, plus it’s actually fun to create something from scratch. Perhaps you can send your creations to family or friends as a gift during these lonely times. Sewing machines are available online for as little as €59.

Hobbies from home, sewing

Work on that summer body

Let be honest, this is going to be a challenge to say the least. Being at home often means less movement (depending how big your house is), and we tend to eat more when we are bored (welcome to the club). In order to keep our bodies in shape, you can join plenty of online workouts. Some classes are live, some on YouTube. Try and set a goal for yourself. Instead of going to the gym three times a week, try to workout everyday from home. Even if it’s only 30 minutes. TIP: if you sit behind the laptop, try to take a break every 1,5 hours and do some jumping jacks, squats or walk around the block quickly to get some fresh air. 

In either case, there are enough options! Let us know in the comments if you are going to try a new hobby or if you already have one!

#stayhome #staysafe

Iris

DIY SOAP | CREATE YOUR OWN ORGANIC SKIN PRODUCTS

There are so many products and brands out there that promise you a soft skin but we’re not a big fan of all the chemicals that are added. 

Gladly I discovered this briljant store called DIY Soap, a store in Amsterdam where you can create your own scrubs and creams made out of natural and organic ingredients. Even better, they deliver at home, so you can make your own products, suitable for your skin type.

DIY Soap

Pure Ingredients

At DIY Soap you can shop in two ways; you can buy a ready-made scrub or cream, or create your own from scratch. The last option is more fun so that’s exactly what I did! In the store you can find a rack where you can find cans of oils to create your product with (coconut, almond, olive). Next to that you have a table where you can find salts, sugars, coffee and concentrated oils such as lavender, orange or roses. Pimp your product with some flowers, dried fruits or lavender pieces. Every product is vegan except the honey. (but rest assured it comes from a local and organic beekeeper).

diy soap products
The corner of ingredients!

DIY Soap Oil
Adding some oil

DIY Soap
Final touch

Sustainable Packaging

One of the great things about creating your own product, is that you can bring your own packing materials. DIY Soap highly encourages to re-use your old shampoo bottles or cream containers. The packaging at DIY Soap is made out of glass and is always re-usable. This way, you only need to come back for the ingredients! You can also buy sustainable products like re-usable make-up removal pads. If you don’t live in Amsterdam, you can shop the products online (www.diysoap.nl) and in several stores across The Netherlands and Belgium (concept store Hutspot being one of those).

DIY Soap, coffee scrub
Trying my DIY Wanderlust Coffee Scrub

People behind the products

besides the ingredients and packaging, they also have a great behind-the-scenes-story. The people who make the ready-to-buy products are created by people with a minor mental disability, at the Gemiva centre in the city of Leiden. How beautiful is that!

diysoap-kerst

Elke

DIY Soap
Van Woustraat 48, Amsterdam
Website

WHY THIS IS THE TOILET PAPER YOU SHOULD BUY

People started hoarding toilet paper as soon as the Corona virus became a serious matter. As a result: the shelves with toilet paper in the supermarkets are empty.

The sustainable toilet paper company The Good Roll offers a solution for those who have been fishing behind the net for days to get toilet paper.

The good roll toiletpaper

If you are buying toilet paper, buy the good kind

You don’t have to leave your house because the rolls are delivered to your home so you don’t have to make contact. The toiletpaper from The Good Roll are made from 100% recycled paper and 50% of the net profit goes to building of new toilets in developing countries. Nice side effect, the roles look witty so you can make your lockdown time a bit more cheerful. And there is a QR code on every roll with funny toilet jokes.

TOILET PAPER THE GOOD ROLL

The Good Roll offers three different sets of toilet paper:

Cheerful Choice (24 rolls, 2-layers) € 19,95
Wrapless Choice (24 rolls, 2-layers € 17,96
Luxury Line (24 rolls, 3-layers € 21,95

More info on thegoodroll.nl

Love,

Wander-Lust

CHECK OUT THESE BRAND NEW NETFLIX TIPS FOR APRIL!

 

THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS DURING LOCKDOWN

Parents in lockdown, we feel you. This lockdown situation isn’t easy for anyone. But if you have kids, it can be a little bit more tricky.

Whether you share the house with babies, toddlers or teenagers, most kids have attention span of a maximum of 15 minutes. This means parents are in need of some creative ideas to keep them occupied so you can do some work from home.

Create a schedule

This mainly applies to kids older than 4 years old. A daily routine and rhythm is the key. This doesn’t mean you need to play the strict parent, but getting up at a decent time of day and follow a reasonable routine can be quite good for kids. If you home-school (well done, by the way!) you can try to do so at the same time each day. Discuss the schedule with your kid(s) so they understand. Needless to say that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all way to schedule every kid. “Some children find security in following a school-like timetable, others thrive on a more child-led, free-flowing approach, but all children need some predictability in their lives”. Source

Bake something

It doesn’t really matter what, kids love to bake! That being said, as long as they can lick the sugary spoon, watch their creation bake in the oven, and eat it afterwards. But there is a bonus to this; your kid will love the interaction with you, plus you are teaching them something without them realising it. In all honestly, I’m not the baking-type person, but this lockdown has certainly opened the gate for some new skills! This week I baked a banana cake that we now eat for breakfast, lunch and dessert. Who knows what next week will bring to the table.

Baking with kids during lockdown

Netflix is great but it isn’t always the solution to keep your kids entertained without them becoming too passive.

Digital storytime

If you need to join a conference call with your quarantine colleagues or you simply need some you-time, this is a great temporary solution. Children love stories, especially when images are involved. There are several businesses that have (partly) free book stories available such as Bol.com for the Netherlands where books are being read by local celebrities. For English we refer you to Freechildrenstories.com where you can pick stories for every age and pick your theme! If you have headphones around you can also check out onlinebibliotheek.nl. All you need is a smartphone or tablet. Bol.com offers books for 1 cent and you need to download the app.

Go on a Bear Hunt

If you live in the Netherlands, you may have heard of this new phenomenon. If you look behind the windows of people’s houses, you may spot a teddybear. This is no coincident. The Facebook group Berenjacht in NL called all people to put a stuffed bear by the window. This resulted in children going on a bear hunt whilst going for their daily walk around the block. Have you spotted the bears yet? Note: always remember to keep 1,5 meters distance from other people.

Things to do with your kids during lockdown, bear hunt

Let them clean their toys

I’m not sure about you, but my kid loves to clean his toys. Whether it’s his bicycle (which he calls his motor), animal toys or something else that can stand water. If you have a garden or balcony it’s the perfect thing for kids to keep them busy for a while. Grab a bucket or low basket, fill it with lukewarm water and a few drops of detergent. Don’t forget about a towel for drying of course.

Crafts for the people they miss

With no cuddles from the grandparents or friends, you can imagine that it’s not a nice feeling after a few weeks. In order to keep the connection you can ask them to create a card, drawing or craft for their loved ones and bring it to the mailbox. Tip: ask your family members or friends to video call you when they receive it, your kid will most likely be proud of the work they’ve put in.

Things to do with your kids during lockdown, drawing

Digital learning 

Obviously, we don’t want to ignore the maximum screen-time for kids, but there are loads of fun digital learning platforms where children can be educated in a fun way. First of all, create a learning space. Use this space for learning only, a place where they can concentrate. This could be a small desk/table, or the same spot on the dining table. This can also be the place where they can do schoolwork. Here are some websites that offer digital learning games:

  • www.zappelin.nl/kinderspelletjes
  • kids.nationalgeographic.com/games
  • www.sheppardsoftware.com
  • pbskids.org/games

Travel the world, virtually

With Google Earth for Chrome, you can fly anywhere in seconds and explore hundreds of 3D cities from your browser. Let your child be adventurous and discover something new, they can take a tour with Voyager and create their own maps and stories. 

Order a new Toy

You don’t have to shower your kids with gifts, but something new is always interesting. It can be a game, new colouring materials or a book. We bought a tipi tent, filled them with stuffed animals which resulted in hours of fun and imagination! This may buy you some time for, let’s say, a few days! 

Build a house!

Build a what? We mean a dollhouse, a house for children, whatever you want to call it, this is fun! Use cardboard and paint/cut a house which they can then paint. When it’s dry they can use it to play with.

Crafts during lockdown with kids

Exercise together

Stay fit is one of the things doctors and professionals advise us during lockdown. Try to involve your kids! (My little boy now knows what a Downward Facing Dog is). Plus, exercises can help kids to release their energy plus you can get your workout done. Be the trainer yourself or use YouTube for a training session. This can be fun!

All in all, we hope the above shown examples can make it a little easier to get though the days of lockdown. Good luck, you can do it!

Distantly yours,

Elke

Recipe » Thai Papaya Salad

Each month we invite another food blogger to tip us with one of their best recipe’s, inspired from a country or place they have been. This month we highlight a recipe from Culinessa.

This Food Blogger has Asian roots and she sure knows how to create a colourful and spicy Papaya Salad (Som Tam), inspired by Thailand!

`papaya

Papaya gives this salad the sweetness to balance out the spice

Ingredients:

1 green papaya, sliced or grated
2 big carrots, sliced or grated
1 clove of garlic
9 long beans, cut in to 5 cm pieces
1 red chili / rawit for extra spice
3 tsp palm sugar
1 big tomato, in quarters
4 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp fish sauce
some roasted peanuts

Recipe Thai Papaya Salad

Start by pounding the garlic together with the chili. Don’t pound the chili to hard. Add in the palm sugar. Now add in long beans and tomato and bash them a little bit. Add in the tomato and don’t pound to hard. Season with lemon juice and fish sauce. Last but not least add in the papaya and carrot. Pound everything together and mix up well. Taste and add additional sugar, fish sauce, lemon juice if necessary. Top off with some roasted peanuts.

* You can always add in extra chilies for more spice.

Love,

Vanessa

*Vanessa is a food blogger from the Netherlands with roots from Indonesia, If you love some spice and you’re into Asian cooking, check Culinessa.com

 

Why Listening to 8D Music is the best during quarantine

The things you discover when you have some time on your hands. Priceless! If you are missing out on the music festivals this year, wait till you hear 8D Music Technology.

The other day a friend of mine sent me a whatsapp message with an audio/music song and some instructions. It was a dance song composed with 8D Music Technology and it was like something I’ve never experienced before. And quite frankly, it is the perfect thing to discover while in quarantine!

What is 8D Technology?

With this awesome music technology you don’t listen with your ears but with your brain. At least, this is what it feels and sounds like. You can compare it to as if you were standing on a music festival or live show. Best of all, you don’t even realise that you are wearing headphones!

“At its core, the 8D effect tries to mimic the sensation of hearing a binaural recording, which places sounds in space relative to a human’s head (rather than normal stereo recordings, which can only direct sound to the left and right speaker channels)”. Source: melmagazine.com

It’s all about feeling the music

Important note:

However, in order to really feel the music and get the whole experience of 8D technology music, it is very important that you do listen to it with headphones. Big or small, it doesn’t matter, as long as you are plugged in.

Let us know what you think! (and remember, put your headphones on!)

Enjoy dancing in your living room or garden!

Elke

8X NEW NETFLIX TIPS FOR APRIL

After hours on end at home, we can imagine that you have turned Netflix inside-out. Thankfully, new series, movies and classics are coming up this April!

Here are our 8 favourite Netflix Tips for April!

Netflix Series Tips

La casa de papel – season 4

Luckily, La casa de papel is here to safe us from boredom! The highly anticipated 4th season is finally coming to Netflix on the 3rd of April. The Professor thinks Lissabon has been executed, Rio en Tokio have split up and Nairobi is fighting for her life. Yes, season 3 left us with a huge cliff-hanger. vecht voor haar leven. Can’t wait!

Community – All seasons

Kicking off on the 1st of April is Community, a comedy series new on Netflix. The series is about grown-ups that return to school and form a study group. Perhaps it sounds a bit dull, but Community actually ran for five seasons on NBC, between 2009 and 2014.

Outer Banks

This exiting series follows a group of teenagers that live in a fictive city on the East coast in the US.  After a destructive huricane they are left without power and internet (disaster for all teenagers obviously!) In Outer Banks you can see how these youngsters deal with the situation. Available from the 15th of April.

De Twaalf

For the Dutch and Belgium readers, this series is a treat. The Belgium serie De Twaalf is about school principal Frie Palmers, who is accused of murdering her daughter and best friend. During the 10 episodes you’ll see the story unfold between the jury and find out hat happened..

After Life – Season 2

It took a while but Ricky Gervais returns as Tony, de widower that actually hates his life but promised his late wife to make the best of it. It’s realistic, funny as hell and now and then touching. On Netflix from the 24th of April.

Netflix tips for April, popcorn


Netflix Movies

Once Upon a Time In… Hollywood

It seems like this movie was just released due to all the positive attention it has been getting. And let’s not forget about Brat Pits first ever Oscar win as an actor. Bonus: He takes his shirt off in this movie. We rest our case. Once Upon a Time In… Hollywood is available on April 13th.

Jaws

Time for a classic! Jaws has always been one of the most memorable Hollywood movies that you watched under a blanket as a child. grab the popcorn, this isn’t just any shark movie.

Meet Joe Black

Another movie with Brat Pitt is never a bad thing. This romantic film also features Sir Anthony Hopkins and gets those tears flowing. Go buy some tissues (but don’t hoard please).

Need other tips how to get though April? Try these vegetarian recipes or join a virtual After Work Drink!

 

 

VIRTUAL AFTER WORK DRINKS

Usually, when the clock hits five ‘O Clock on Friday, it’s time to get the beer cold and open the snack cabinet. If you currently miss the casual chitchat with your colleagues, there is a solution.

Thankfully, we live in the age of computers and boy, do we need them now. The solution? Virtual After Work Drinks. They are free, fun and will make you forget, even if it’s just for an hour, the situation we find ourselves in.

Virtual After Work Drinks

So how does it work? If you want, you can set it up yourself, it’s easy peasy. Just download Zoom and tell your co-workers to do the same. You can add up to 100 people and see each other if everybody turns their camera on. Bring a drink (and optional snacks) and enjoy! Being stuck a home doesn’t have to be boring.

No pad on the back or handshakes, but there are many ways to say hello!

But what if I’m a freelancer?

No worries, we are freelancers too, so with no tot none colleagues in the first place, it’s nice to connect with other freelancers now and then. Let us introduce you to Qommunity. As a freelancer you often miss out on the fun office drinks. That’s why they host various events where freelancers get the chance to connect and network. Usually, you pay a fee for the event but with the Corona crisis going on, they decided to host free virtual after work drinks available for non-members. We joined in and it was epic. The dresscode was strict though; a bathrobe and a drink. Qomminity hosted a karaoke bingo where you had to guess the song while sipping on your cocktail, so much fun!

virtual after work drinks, qommunity
Elke joined the first Qommunity’s virtual after work drinks last week

If you want to join in, sign up here and do it before Friday 12pm (CET). If you made it to the guest-list, you will receive an email with instructions. Next to the fun, they also hosts virtual lunches where you can ask questions, exchange info or give tips.

Other Virtual After Work Drinks

There are more of these of course. If you live in the Netherlands, you can join virtualvrijmibo.nl for some fun after work drinks on Friday at 4pm. Fun fact: to start off with you can download their after work drink pack that includes café sounds, a café screensaver, songs and even some bad jokes. For this one you use Skype, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams or Linkedin. 

If you live in England and you miss the afternoon Pub sessions, you can go to thestayinginn.co.uk and enjoy twelve minutes in a virtual pub in London!

So grab your Quarantini this Friday and enjoy!

Stay Safe,

Wander-Lust