Maison Suisen in Paris | The Spa that brings you to Japan

Whether you’re based in Paris or just visiting, you’ll eventually find yourself caught up in the fast-paced lifestyle on the chic Parisian streets. After living in Paris for almost a year, I have just discovered the perfect way to escape all of this and it does not even require you to board a plane! Spa Maison Suisen will bring you to Japan.

Maison Suisen

Located in the buzzing quarter of La Marais, spa Suisen is the perfect escape from the hectic Parisian lifestyle. Sounds ironic doesn’t it, that the calmest and most relaxing spot in town is situated in the middle of the busiest part of Paris. But trust me, once you step through the door of Spa Suisen, you’re immediately transported to the faraway land of Japan. As the door closes behind you, blocking your daily stress and worries out.

Maison Suisen

Maison Suisen

All-around wellness from the moment you enter

Yes, Suisen is a place where you enjoy the most luxurious Japanese massages, but that’s not all of it. Here at Maison Suisen, both your physical and mental wellness will be taken care of by perfectly trained experts from the moment you step into the centre. To start your me-time right, the house offers you a perfectly brewed cup of Houjicha, a gentle and light toasted green tea imported directly from Japan to unwind you. As I took my first sip of the tea, my body immediately felt relaxed. Take your time and enjoy the tea as you prepare your mind and body for the treatment that follows.

Massage room Maison Suisen, Paris

Total passion for the Japanese art of shiatsu

Before being led to the second floor where the three massage rooms are, Sandra, the owner of Suisen, explained to me in detail, the concept of the centre, the different functions of each tea they offer in house, which are also available for purchase, and the differences between the four treatments they perform and have mastered the art of. As she spoke, I sense a total passion and adoration she holds for the Japanese culture which she has effectively introduced and brought over to Paris.

Each treatment places an equal focus on both the mental and physical aspects of the client.

Maison Suisen, Paris

Complete relaxation for the mind and the body

Time to change into my Japanese outfit and lay down on the tatami, a traditional Japanese mat that is placed on the floor for sleeping or massages. These, too, are flown in directly from Japan, as well as being bio and organically made. Sandra recommended the traditional Shiatsu, which does wonders for my circulation and immune system. There are other options, such as body toning, facial treatment and full body shiatsu with aromatic old to target muscle tension.The masseuse applied pressure to all the right spots, loosening all the tensions in my body. As enjoyable as the physical massage was, I particularly loved the smell of the scented serviette that covered the top half of my face, leaving everything below my nose exposed.

Each inhale smelt better than the last. It was their secret recipe of aromatic fragrances, as I was told.

Massage Maison Suisen

Further indulgence for a perfect end

The hour flew by too quickly. I woke up completely relaxed and despite all the pressured applied to my body, I felt lighter. After the masseuse said her goodbye and left the room, I lazily changed back into my outfit and headed downstairs for another cup of freshly brewed tea. This time, I had Sencha, an energy-boosting green tea with vitamin C. This has a completely different taste to the Houjicha, yet both were equally delicious. My tea came with a citron macaron. You have the option of a Matcha one too! I left Suisen feeling the most relaxed I have ever been and I cannot wait to revisit it.

My Verdict

Aside from the massage, my daily routine had remained the same. Yet, last night, I slept so much better and woke up more rejuvenated than I have been throughout the past week. If it wasn’t the massage, I do not know what it could possibly be!

Spa Suisen
7 rue de Thorigny 75003 Paris
France

Website / Instagram

Love,

Chantelle

*Chantelle is one of our guest editors from Hong Kong. Graduated with a Law degree, she is now taking a break in Paris for the year as she figures out her next step in life. Always passport ready, she is an expert at traveling light and on a budget, although she still enjoys the occasional indulgence in a luxurious holiday. Follow her on Instagram.

 

8 x Swimwear Trends for 2019

Summer is just a few months away! Time to start with some preparations… Next to the iconic Levi’s 501 shorts, flared trousers, sandals, kaftan’s, short skirts and silk dresses, we really love to spend time finding the perfect swimwear. Where does summer take you and which bikini will suit your travel plans the most? Take a look at the Swimwear Trends for 2019.

Neon

Whether you like it or not, Neon is going to be the big trend this year and also on the beach. Ready to show off that bikini body? This swimwear trend is going to get you noticed. There are many colours and combinations available and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Asos, H&M and Zara are all joining team Neon this summer.

Neon Swimwear trends 2019
Stand out on the beach

Nudes

We’ve always loved skin tone colours so we’re happy to say that nudes are going to be a thing on the beach and poolside this year. Monday Swimwear sells a beautiful rose piece. The girls behind Monday Swimwear might sound familiar to you. Tash Oakley and Devin Brugman are the hottest bikini girls out there and their swimwear line is really taking the leas this year.

Monday Swimwear trends 2019

Gold & Metallic

Get ready to look like you’re about to walk into a beach party, because gold and metallic is on trend. Our favorite? The swimsuits and bikini’s from Gooseberry Seaside. Shop it here.

Swimwear trends 2019

The Bandeau Bikini

We’re not sure whether this is the most comfortable fit, but we like it! Go sporty with different funky designs like this Protest bandeau bikini. Printed with a multi-coloured stripe, this Postwick is ‘one-shoulder’ – a hot trend for this season.

Protest bikini Swimwear Trends 2019

Belted Swimwear

Love, love, love this swimwear trend of 2018. It is here to stay in 2019 and really compliments a women’s shape and it was the perfect swimsuit for Elke when she just became a new mum. Too insecure to wear a bikini? This might be the solution for you! The best ones are a little more pricey, but sooo worth it! 


Crinkled Fabric

Looking around the pool after a recent press trip, we noticed that everyone was wearing a crinkled once-piece or bikini. It may look a bit strange but apparently it’s one of the most flattering styles of swimwear to date. Would you wear it? 

Swimwear trends 2019

Animal Prints

Animal prints have been a things for years now, and yes 2019 is no different. Get ready for summer and pick your favorite print at Triangl.

Animal prints swimwear trends 2019

Yellow

An Instagram favourite is the yellow one-piece or bikini. The soft yellow is complimenting your skin, especially when tanned. Wear it on the beach, or out and about, yellow is here in 2019. 

Yellow swimwear trends
Yellow is proven to suit every skin tone as seen on Marie

Enjoy summer y’all!

Love,

Wander-Lust

Camptoo, the Airbnb for Campers!

As a traveler, you always have a few things on your bucketlist that NEED to be done. These could be destinations, but also experiences. Most people would agree if I said that taking a camping roadtrip with an old Volkswagen Van would be one of them. 2 years ago I was so lucky to cross it off my bucketlist! Camptoo, the Airbnb for campers and mobile homes, asked me to take an oldtimer Volkswagen T2 for a little roadtrip.

What is Camptoo?

It’s too easy to compare Camptoo with Airbnb but it’s really the best comparison to make. It Basically works like this; most mobile-home owners only use their ride half the time so it just sits there, in front of their garage. Camptoo makes it possible for those owners, to rent out their camper. Take a look on their website and select the camper you want, for how long and for which date. As a result you get several options and all you need to do is to pick your favorite and send the owner a message. Finally you will see which camper is available and if they’ll accept your request.

After a quick check up, we were handed over the keys and headed on our little adventure.

Once accepted you will receive a confirmation email plus a text message. I picked a beautiful Volkswagen T2. Not really knowing what to expect, me and my family drove down to her house where Nicole explained everything we needed to know about her precious ride. Camptoo makes sure that you are all-risk insured and you pay a deposit to cover yourself for any damages along the way. Just make sure to have your travel insurance sorted. After a quick check up on damages and details, we were handed over the keys and headed on our little adventure.

On an adventure with Camptoo

I was worried about the cold,  would the rain drip inside? What if the van breaks down?! 

Volkswagen dreams. Camptoo

The Route

The first thing I noticed is that driving a car like this get’s a lot of attention. A lot. People waving, throwing up peace signs or giving you a thumbs up out of respect. Pretty cool. We decided to drive to The Ardennes, an area with hills and greenery and lot’s of adventurous roads. From Limburg we had about 2 more hours to go and we found this amazing camping online called Les Cabanes De Rensiwez. Here you can camp but also rent the most amazing lodges such as treehouses, Norwegian style cabins and hobbit-like-houses. Our campervan included a little kitchen with a stove so we could prepare dinner and make some tea. No camping adventure is complete without a little thunder storm and boy did we have one on the first night! It rained and rumbled for about 3 hours but it just made the whole experience even more special and cozy. TIP: Bring your own pillows for comfort and a (extra) warm sleeping bag as it get’s very cold at night even during summer. Many camper owners have blankets available but they can be too thin for your liking.

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Bohemian dream
Yep, this is soo me!

Breakfast at the camping
A breakfast basket brought to our camper

The next we drove down to a special place called the Jan Foppen Forest. This is a small forest on top of a hill where you can do crazy survival stuff like abseiling, climbing, paragliding, horse riding and much more. Definitely check out this spot if you’re heading to the Ardennes. 

Camptoo at The Foppen Bos
Our VolkswagenT2 at the Foppen Forest

On our last and final day we really got to drive through small towns where we stopped if we saw something nice such as a little Sunday market or a beautiful viewing point. The Van had to be brought back to its owner in the early afternoon so we decided to sleep at a camping in Limburg, near the Belgian border. This camping was very modern and even had a swimming pool, restaurant and beautiful forest nearby to walk in.

La Roche
We stopped at La Roche, a town visited by many cyclist 

My Verdict

A dream come true. honestly. Ok, I didn’t have a lot of sleep like I would have in a 5 star hotel but that’s not what camping is about. Camping and especially, camping in an oldtimer, is about the magic of it. The adventure without knowing where you will sleep the next day and to follow your own path. I felt like a true nomad and besides that, the whole thing was so well organized from beginning to the end.

Me and the VolkswagenT2, Camptoo

Do you want to go on the same adventure? Visit Camptoo’s website, Facebook & Instagram for inspiration!

Check out my video to get a good impression!

Love,

Elke

Greentom » The stroller created out of plastic bottles

As you might know, 2 years ago I became a new mummy to a baby boy. I couldn’t imagine it any different now, but I have thought long about becoming a mom and this is why. I worry a lot about our planet because it doesn’t look good for the next generations and I want to leave my child with a healthy planet that he can be proud of. But yes, I decided to have a child, so I want to teach him about the world so he can see all the beauty and hopefully contribute to a sustainable planet.

Sustainability

You’ve guessed it, sustainability is extremely important to me. I’m a vegetarian (almost vegan), I shower in less than 5 minutes and organize events about climate change to inspire and educate the younger generation. Oh, and one day I’ll own a Tesla. (yes, I can keep the dream alive!)
I’m also selective about the products I buy (boycotting palm oil is a daily struggle) and especially with a baby! It’s hard and often more expensive to remain sustainable at all times. This is when I came across the Greentom, a product that was going to be a huge part of my new life as a mother.

Greentom

Greentom’s mission is to create 100 percent green products

Greentom

Greentom is a brand that has created a stroller recycled from plastic bottles. Dutch designer Bart Bost wanted to create the first truly honest stroller. It needed to be particularly practical and sustainable. Well, it has Elke written all over it. Buying baby stuff can be quite overwhelming let me tell you! With all the different brands from luxury-expensive-over the top to bad quality strollers out there, this was exactly what I was looking for. Greentom’s mission is to create 100 percent green products. The fabrics are entirely made out of recycled drinking bottles. They collect bottles all over the world. That limits the impact of shipping. It also means a stroller is made from natural and recycled sources nearby. And it stimulates local economies!

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Walking around in the Amsterdam Vondelpark

Greentom on the beach
Nature in nature

My Review

I decided to go for the 2-in-1 edition that most parents choose. Meaning; you use it flat for the first few months and once your child can sit up straight, you can change it into a reversible. Besides being sustainable, I think one of the best features is that it’s one of the lightest strollers out there at the moment. Light as a feather! You can easily turn it around with one hand or lift it when you need grab a few stairs. It also folds in real easy, so no need to stress when you need to get into your car. The wheels are not filled with air like most strollers so you need to be a little careful when you ride over a sidewalk, simply lift it up a little to avoid a full stop.

combi3-white-9
The 3 options to convert the Greentom

Greentom
Always the eyecatcher

I’ve seriously gotten more comments on my GreenTom than on my outfits

The stroller also comes with several extra’s that you can buy online. I also got myself the rain cover (need to have one if you live in The Netherlands!), and a car seat adapter. The organic fabrics come in many different colors so you can certainly find your favorite. I picked mint green and I get so many positive comments out on the street! It’s a true eye catcher and a great conversation maker, which then results in me talking about the beauty of this product. And guess what, it’s very affordable too. You pay around 1200 euro for a stroller nowadays but the Greentom 2-in-1 is available from just €499,-! That includes the carrycot and reversible.

The GreenTom is one of those brands that is making planet earth a little better and I’m totally for it.

For more info and online shop visit their Website.

Love,

Elke

Festival trends seen at Coachella 2019

Coachella Festival is the catwalk that defines the new trends for this coming festival season, and what to wear this summer.With the festival weekend one gone, we can talk about some of the outfits and festival trends for 2019! 

Trend » Sneakers
Yep, sneakers are cool and you are allowed to bring them to the festival this year. Hailey Bieber was wearing Vans at the Levi’s party last weekend and many peeps wore the comfy shoe at Coachella.

Hailey Biebier wearing Vans
Hailey Bieber being casual

Trend » Whites
Even though the dust at Coachella Festival makes everything dirty, white dresses, tops and skirts were more popular than previous years. Check out Sincerly Jules, Helen Howen and Jamie Kidd in pearl white.

Coachella trends 2019

Jaimie Kidd
Jamie Kidd in white

Trend » Lays
Flaunt it with everything lace this year, because this trend is back in 2019.

 Coachella lace

Trend » Multi Color
Colors are proven to make people happy, so we totally feel this one. People went crazy on colors this year. What do you think?

Coachella trends

Hair Trend » Long Braids 
The double parting braids we have seen for the last 2 years have vanished but long traditional braids are back in 2019! If you don’t have long hair, you can fake it with extensions and add in some colour too. We like it!

Braids Coachella Festival
Braids are back, but different

Trend » Denim
The Coachella trend that never fails; Denim. We saw a whole lot of it at Coachella this year. Timeless right?

Denim at Coachella

So which trend will you follow this festival season?

Check out our Festival Guide for 2019!

Love,

Wander-Lust

 

7 x Must Visit Vintage Stores in Rotterdam

Big cues, everyone having the same T-shirt, and the unsustainable waste produced by fast fashion? Forget the high-street chains and get ready to rummage! From cheap and cheerful thrift shops to more high-end vintage stores, there’s something for everyone when it comes to second-hand and vintage stores in Rotterdam!

1. Dearhunter VintageEendrachtsweg 55A
My first experience with Dearhunter was love at first sight. It’s definitely my favourite vintage store in Rotterdam. Instead of all racks being completely stuffed, they have made a selection of only the most beautiful items. The owner selects with her eye for colour, shape, prints and material, a collection of unique vintage items that makes every fashion person happy. All items are cleaned and steamed before being hanged in the trendy and well-arranged shop. When you plan to visit the shop, be aware that you are going to spend money. In fact, you would like to take home every item hanging in the store (especially when you look at the price tag). For only 50 euros I came home with a leather brown pants, a red belt and a leopard top. You won’t leave the Dearhunter empty-handed!

Dearhunter

2. Sweet Rebel, Schiedamse Vest 89B
Sweet Rebel is a small, but definitely must-visit vintage shop in Rotterdam. The prices are low and you can find real affordable gems. The shop has a wide selection of regularly renewed and incredible vintage items, as well as a selection of carefully curated designer items. All their vintage clothes have been carefully selected for style, quality and comfort. Here I scored an oversized denim cowboy-ish blouse with suede patches and sturdy studs for 17 euros.

3. Cheap Fashion, Meent 25
This one is for the real treasure hunters who love to dig through mountains of clothing. They have 2 floors stuffed with all kinds of clothes and accessories; leather jackets, skirts, blouses, boots, sunglasses, shawls.. If you are a fan of ‘hunting’ then you should definitely visit this store! It is is also the place to go to score outfits for theme parties. They have for example hysterical ski-suits and crazy disco outfits.

vintage shop

4. Episode, Witte de Withstraat 19A
Episode is a chain with stores in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Brussels, Antwerp, London and Paris. They have an extensive collection of second-hand and vintage clothing that emphasize on the 70s and 80s. You can find all kinds of styles from casual to nightwear. There is also a large selection of vintage shoes, bags and accessories such as hats, belts, sunglasses and jewellery. Tip: for a good vintage levi’s jeans you should definitely visit Episode!

5. Margootje Vintage, Zwaanshals 276B
The store is owned by, guess who, Margot. She offers all her special finds for sale in the shop. You will mainly find clothes and shoes, but on the wall and in the cupboards you will also find other special trinkets, such as old school plates, stuffed animals and jewellery. The old records on the wall, the rugs on the floor and the small, special trinkets in the old-fashioned closets make the shop very atmospheric. Margootje Vintage also organizes a Garage Sale in the back garden every last Saturday of the month.

margootje rotterdam

6. Ruby Lee and the Vintage Factoy, Nieuwe Binnenweg 206A
Ruby Lee is a cozy vintage store with handpicked items. The owner used to work as a fashion designer, but her love for vintage took over eventually, so she opened Ruby Lee and the Vintage Factory. The shop has a mixed collection of ruffled blouses, leather skirts, Japanese kimonos, woolen coats, crazy jackets and much more. In addition, they sell all kinds of fun gadgets, such as notebooks made from old, recycled books.

7. SeventiesDesign, Schietbaanlaan 45G
SeventiesDesign buys and sells vintage furniture from the 50’s-60’s & 70’s. In the store you will find a very nice collection of chairs, benches, lamps, umbrella stands, cupboards, ottomans, glassware, art, coat racks and more. All these items are from the bigger names among the interior designers, making it a slightly expensive collection. If you are at home in the world of design this is a must-visit shop for sure.

Overall, I don’t mind hunting through overfull racks in vintage stores in order to find some treasure pieces, but it does take quite some time. What I noticed in Rotterdam is that many vintage stores, such as dearhunter, sweet rebel, margootje vintage, and Ruby Lee, have a pretty good selection of vintage pieces already sorted out what is saving you a lot of time going through ‘junk’. Visiting Rotterdam is a must for every vintage lover!

Love,

Iris

*Iris is one of our guest editors from The Netherlands. She’s got a big interest in photography, fashion, spirituality and traveling. She was 3 months old when she was on the plane for the first time and has been to every continent in the meantime. You can follow iris on Instagram.

Little Plant Pantry | The new Plant-Based wholefoods store in Amsterdam

New spots in town deserve a moment to shine. Especially when it’s a green newbie lead by Irish do-gooders. Let’s say hi to Little Plant Pantry, a plant-based speciality food store and café in Amsterdam city centre, which absolutely is worth a visit.

The story behind: bye bye plastic
A couple of weeks ago Little Plant Pantry had their soft opening. Without too much fanfare and fuss. Just to warm up, see how the shop operates and what needs to be fine-tuned. A very appealing place with an almost zero plastic policy. Let’s say 99% (having a fully zero-waste business is more of an aspiration than reality, they discovered). Thereby, they try to minimize waste by selling in bulk and finding compostable alternatives to traditional packaging. Six months ago Maria and Winter had the idea to start their own plant-based, minimal waste bulk wholefoods store. A store with full focus on ethical consumerism and sustainability. A mouthful.

We wanted to turn our lifestyle into a job, engage with more people to have a dialogue and together find better ways of living.

Why not open our store in Amsterdam where a green, sustainable lifestyle is a rising star?’ And so the adventure started.

Little plant pantry bags

Little Plant Pantry store and café
Bit more about their range of different products. From ingredients for a healthy vegan diet, till handcrafted foods, teas, coffees, fruits, veggies, grains, nuts and even a own 100% natural cosmetics line. Don’t expect an overload of different brand labels. It isn’t their intention to be an advertising Valhalla. Main focus lies on the products and their pure stories. One by one made by Little Plant Pantry and other like-minded local artisan producers. Be prepared: There’s a change you get hungry after watching all the colourful products. Have a seat at the back of the store, and enjoy freshly prepared hot food – your granny would make if she was a vegan -, drinks and desserts to satisfy your cravings.

Little Plant Pantry 2

instagram little plant pantry Amsterdam

Little Plant Pantry zeep

To be honest, I’m not the most ‘green’ person you can imagine. Not yet. Doing my best to make little baby steps for a more sustainable lifestyle. Little Plant Pantry is there for diehard vegans till do-gooders and everyone who loves to know more about living a healthy lifestyle. The amazingly kind owners are pleased to help you answer all your questions, I noticed it myself.

Little Plant Pantry oil

At present, Little Plant Pantry is a charming ‘work in progress project.’ But not for long. Sunday the 7th of April they’ve their official launch. And you’re invited! So mark your calendar and discover this new green kid in town.

Love,

Sharmaine

Little Plant Pantry
Bosboom Toussaintstraat 45-H, Amsterdam
Facebook / Instagram

Opening hours:
Tuesday till Saturday 10:00 – 19:00
Sunday: 12:00 – 18:00
Monday: closed

Have you heard of these lesser known vegan spots already?

Shoot Amazing Drone Photo’s Without Experience!

Recently we travelled through Malaysia & Thailand and wanted to shoot extraordinary photo’s. Because we don’t own a drone we hired one without needing a flying course. So did we manage to shoot some good footage? You’ll be the judge.

I had never flown a drone before, or even held one. But damn, you can take the most amazing shots with them and drone photography inspires the hell out of me, so it was time to put my skills to the test. I was planning a trip to Asia, which meant tons of drone photo opportunities with beaches, palmtrees and crystal clear water.

Things you should know before flying a drone:

  • No flying after dark or within 5 miles of an airport (unless you can get authorization)
  • Near people’s heads, moving cars, a sports stadium.
  • If you travel abroad, you should check the rules that apply for that country. For some you are required to register your drone and pay a small fee in order to bring it through customs. However, Thailand officially required such a document, but because I was traveling per boat to Koh Lipe, I took my chances and didn’t apply. Getting the document can take up to a few months and I was too late with that. It’s a small risk I was willing to take. Rules about drones change fast and regularly so always check what rules may apply to your country of choice.

Rent a drone
Because I didn’t own a drone, I came across a business in the Netherlands that hires drones without a pilot. You rent the drone per day and you pay a small deposit for safety reasons. The drone includes 2 batteries, charger and extra propellors. Me and my boyfriend opted for the DJ1 Mavic Pro, which is compact enough to fold up and pack. 

First Flight
Our first opportunity and go was at Koh Adang, a Thai island across from the more popular Koh Lipe. In the beginning it’s a bit scary to fly because you are scared your drone will crash in the water, or the wind will take it down. This is the result of our first ever drone shot, not bad right? My boyfriend Jesse flew most of the time because I wanted to be in the picture. (such a diva!)


Our first ever drone shot!

After that more followed. We also shot some video.


Maybe I should work on my heart drawing skills a bit more though..?

This next shot was taken on Koh Lipe where we found a sandbank that was free of people, in order to take that perfect shot!

Koh Lipe


Pretending that I was on a deserted island in Malaysia. Truth is that 2 meters away there was a beach bar 😉

Verdict; Hiring a drone is such a good idea! As you can see, the images turned out pretty good (if you don’t mind us saying so ;-)). We hired our drone at www.dronehurenzonderpiloot.nl in the Netherlands and we can really recommend it. You just pick up your drone, and you will get an explanation how to use your drone. You need to figure out your color and ISO settings yourself so we advise you to watch a couple of YouTube video’s in order to get the best results. For all cost per drone check their cost sheet.

Are you ready to take your travel photography to the next level?

Love,

Elke

Create our own organic skin products at DIY Soap

Hello winter equals hello to dry skin. For me at least. As soon as the heating at home goes up, and the leaves are starting to fall down the trees, my skin reacts as if it knows it needs some extra attention. There are sooo many products and brands out there that promise you a soft skin but I’m not a big fan of all the chemicals that are added. Gladly I discovered this briljant store called DIY Soap, a shop in Amsterdam where you can create your own scrubs and creams made out of natural and organic ingredients.

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

The people behind the product
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

The Treatwell Series » Cupping

Remember the time when Gwyneth Paltrow was photographed with red circles on her back? This was the time when cupping made it’s entrance in the wide world.  Nobody had ever heard of it before. Or at least, not many. Since then Jennifer Aniston, Justin Bieber and even athletes like Michael Phelps have used cupping. I had never tried it, but cupping is suppose to have many health benefits. Time to find out why ancient trend is so good for you!

What is Cupping
Even though it might not sound so familiar, cupping is an ancient method used by Egyptians and later found it’s way into Chinese Alternative Medicine and practises. Traditionally, glass cups are placed on your skin (mostly on your back and legs) and heated with fire to suck the air out of the cups, creating suction. This can be quite risky because of the heat, so most salons use other materials like silicone and suck the air out with a special device. By cupping, it’s believed that problems such as headache, muscle and join pain are relieved. It’s also suppose to stimulate your blood circulation and smoothes out your skin.

The Art of Massage
Time to find out! I booked my first cupping treatment with Art of Massage, run by Cerise. After a holiday in Thailand, Cerise gained an interest in massages and wanted to explore more than just the traditional Thai massages we all know. She decided to explore the world of cupping. She tells me that because this is my first ever cupping treatment, she won’t go all the way. Cupping can be quite intense. She starts with a short massage to find out if I have any knots in my muscles. After that, she is ready to place the cups. My pain barrier is pretty high, but when she applied the first cup on my back..HELLO! You definitely feel it!Because the power of cupping is more intense than a deep tissue massage, it might feel a bit uncomfortable at first. After a few moments, the feeling does get less intense and you are able to breath it away. She applies the cups at the places where I felt most tense, and she also decides to include my legs. 

And then starts to move them around, like giving a massage. HELLO 2.0!

She leaves the cups there for about 10 minutes or so, and then starts to move them around, like giving a massage. HELLO 2.0! My shoulder area is fine, but when she does this around my weak spot, the hips, I have a difficult time to breath at a normal pace. Something is seriously going on and I ask her to take a picture. It looks pretty weird and shocking at the same time, but wow, can you imagine what this does to your blood circulation! Especially if you’re walking around with an old injury or you just can’t seem to loosen up, this will do the trick!

At Treatwell Cupping
Alien or Elke? 😉

My Verdict: By far the most pain I experienced during the Treatwell Series, but nothing I could not handle. My knots were gone, and my legs felt like the received an intense massage I think I could only benefit from. Looking at the pictures you might feel a bit cautious, but remember, cupping is very safe. It wouldn’t be around for ages if it wasn’t. And best of all, after the treatment I looked exactly like Gwyneth Paltrow! (Ok, minus the blond hair, long legs and flat tummy) Oh, and my circles disappeared after about 5 days. 

Cerise tells me that you can’t get a 100% result immediately and she advises people to come for at least 3 to 4 treatments. Her regular customers don’t really feel the pain anymore when they return for their 2nd or 3rd session, meaning that you’re body is actually un-tightening. 

I’m curious to see who of you have tried cupping before and what was your experience? If you are curious yourself, you can book my treatment here. For all other treatments visit Treatwell and book online!

Love,

Elke