General Life Tips, Other

5 Things That Never Leaves My Handbag

I’ve learned the hard way that going out in the public eye unprepared can make life unnecessarily difficult and thus over time I have started to assemble five things that makes life easier in general. I never leave the house without it.

  1. Medicine Bag

This is my top one. I suffer from hay fever and toothache so I never leave the house without hay fever tablets, eye drops, pain pills and band aids because I’m clumsy.

  1. Gluten Free Snacks

As someone who has celiac it can become quite difficult to get a snack on the go when hunger strikes. I can’t exactly run in any shop and expect to find something to eat. So I always keep something small in my handbag to snack on; cookies or pretzels. Although I do have to add that in the Netherlands every AH (supermarket), which is basically everywhere, has snack fruit and vegetables that I can eat if I don’t have any gluten free snacks to put in my bag. I will put a plastic spoon in my bag if I plan to buy fruit or vegetables but otherwise nuts is a good last minute snack. All in all, I always have some type of snack or food in my handbag.

  1. Hand Sanitizer

This one is critical for me. If I can’t wash my hands when I touched something gross this one really comes in and save the day. I also use it when I go to a public bathroom to disinfect the toilet seat before I sit down. I’m very aware how dirty and gross a public bathroom can be.

  1. Tissues

This one kind of goes hand in hand with the medicine bag and hay fever problem of mine. That and it’s nearing winter here and I catch a cold by just looking at the cold and gloomy weather outside. I started carrying tissues all year around in my handbag after I went to a public bathroom and there was no toilet paper. Now it just serves as a good safety net.

  1. Hand Cream and Lip Balm

My hands go dry and rough in the winter so I never leave the house without hand cream. Otherwise I pick at the dry skin and just makes things worse. I have dry lips all year around and I constantly loose lip balm so days will go by without any moisturizing. I have a horrible habit to play with the loose skin and will often chew on my lip till it bleeds. Dry skin drives me insane. I learned if I have a separate lip balm that never leaves my handbag it’s always there to save the day.

Bonus: Feminine Products

Hey it’s better to be safe than sorry. Sometimes there can be a little surprise outside your shark week so you can never be to safe. I always carry an extra panty with me in case the little surprise ruins my day.

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This blog post was a little out of the blue if you ask me. I was just cleaning out my handbag the other day when it popped into my head. Take what you will from this post. I’m a clean and most likely control freak or as I always say; I’m always very well prepared. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Basically somewhere in my life came a time where I wished I had one of these things in my handbag but I didn’t and it was a bitch to deal with. It really doesn’t take any extra effort to put these things in my bag before I leave (I never take it out of my bag either) and it has saved the day since then.

Other, Story Time

31 Questions For 31 Days

How exciting! Today my blog has been online for 31 days! Obviously I need to celebrate this moment somehow and what better way than a form of 21 questions. I hope you find these questions interesting. I really enjoyed answering them!

  1. What lie do you tell most often?

That I’m fine. I’m not always fine but admitting that I’m not as happy as I should be is seen as weakness in my eyes. It’s not right and definitely something I need to work on more. It’s okay not to be okay.

  1. If you had a personal flag, what would be on it?

The flag will be purple with holo sparkles and on it a unicorn eating pizza. Mark my words, I will one day have that image on a shirt and rock it.

  1. If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

Eat. I’m not even kidding. Let me eat. Okay maybe with all those extra time I will catch up on my series and anime. Oh wait, let me really add flavor to this cookie. I will write a ton of blog posts. Who knows? I kind of don’t want to give up on sleep.

  1. What hobby would you get into if time and money weren’t an issue?

Dancing. Football. I really love the idea of being active in another way and meet new and different people.

  1. What job do you think you’d be really good at?

A personal trainer and a nutritionist. Wink, wink. Honk, honk.

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  1. What’s your favorite drink?

Orange juice and Rooibos tea.

  1. What state or country do you never want to go back to?

Berlin. My visit there was anything but pleasant and I could live my entire life without ever going back and die happy.

  1. What game or movie universe would you most like to live in?

Sims but I have the same control as a player.

  1. What do you consider to be your best find?

My soul mate and husband, Onno. He truly came into my life at a perfect time and I truly blossomed since meeting him.

  1. Are you usually early or late?

I’m always early. I always make sure to arrive 15 minutes before my appointment. It makes me uncomfortable when I run late.

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  1. What pets did you have while you were growing up?

We always had a mini zoo. Always a dog and a cat. On occasion a bird, hamster and rabbit will join the family.

  1. What would be your first question after waking up from being cryogenically frozen for 100 years?

Where is my husband?

  1. What are some small things that make your day better?

Something that has always managed to make my day is anime. In my most difficult times I enjoy diving into my favorite humorous anime. (Anime is the Japanese form of Animation.)

  1. What age do you wish you could permanently be?

Twenty one. Who wouldn’t want to be young with a strong body forever?

  1. What TV show or movie do you refuse to watch?

Anything horror/thriller related. Spare my soul please.

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  1. What would be your ideal way to spend the weekend?

In bed with my husband by my side surrounded by our favorite food and enjoying great quality movies or series.

  1. What was the best book or series that you’ve ever read?

Harry Potter of course. I honestly don’t really have a favorite book or a book I could reread twenty times. I’ve found many great books but not the one.

  1. What’s your dream car?

I don’t know much about cars. I prefer small cars because they’re easier to park but my car does need a little zoom. I mean 0 to 60km/h in 30 seconds although that might be too slow. I have always loved the Volkswagen Beetle.

  1. What is the most annoying question that people ask you?

Are you just gluten free because you’re trying to lose weight?

  1. What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?

Anything related to being gluten free.

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  1. If you were dictator of a small island nation, what crazy dictator stuff would you do?

First of all I would enquire a daily dose of happiness; might that be 10 minutes of dancing, video gaming or petting a cute animal. I want the positive emotions that humans hold. The negativity and bad things can stay off my island.

  1. What is something that a ton of people are obsessed with but you just don’t get the point of?

Game of Thrones.

  1. What are you most looking forward to in the next 10 years?

Having a successful business, a lovely home with healthy kids. A wonderful family life. Blessed with the ability to travel frequently. I also want to be capable of taking care of my parents.

  1. What’s something you’ve been meaning to try but just haven’t gotten around to it?

Frequent meditation and yoga.

  1. What’s the best thing that happened to you last week?

I made homemade fried chicken that was so crispy it was out of this world. I’m sorry but that’s the first highlight that pops into my head when I think of last week.

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  1. If all jobs had the same pay and hours, what job would you like to have?

This is one is interesting. I always wanted to be a doctor growing up and although my desired field is a tiny bit different I will still be in the health industry. So to be honest, nutrition is something I’m passionate about. I want to help people. The most fitting thing that I could go into after nutrition is psychology. Mental health is just has important.

  1. How different was your life one year ago?

Well for starters I was in South Africa. I was working part time for a real estate company. It was incredibly difficult at that point, the distance. We were passing the mark of our longest time apart and with many more months in the foreseeable future…things went bleak. I’ve mentioned this before but being in a long distance relationship is incredibly difficult, some days are worse than others. Especially because of all of these special moments coming up in the next few months. September wasn’t completely terrible though, I dyed my hair purple.

  1. What’s the best way to start the day?

This is going to sound cheesy as some of my answer already have but the best start of the day is with a snuggle from my adoring husband. My day doesn’t feel complete without my usual good morning cuddle.

  1. What quirks do you have?

I can’t stand it when people walk slowly and stop in the middle of nowhere in confined spaces/halls.

  1. What’s the best way a person can spend their time?

Well since every person is different and I can’t answer for them but I can answer for myself. The best way I can spend my time is by doing stuff I love which is many things in fact. Most of these things you know, as a reader of my blog.

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  1. What are you looking forward to in the coming months?

These next few months are going to be quite busy and fulfilling if I have my way. I hope to find a job in the health care industry, complete the last two nutrition courses, get my personal trainer qualification (if time allows it, the time of the course might contradict with the start of my studies) and then in exactly one year I will be a nutrition student. Oh and we can’t forget the bicycle tour! For my blog however, I plan to continue sharing parts of my life with you.

That’s about it folks. I’m so incredibly happy with my blog. It’s been so much fun to write in this manner. I hope you enjoy my content as much as I enjoy sharing it with you. Please feel free to join in with your own answers. Tag me in #fitcouchpotato31 so I can give them a read.

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I got these questions on: https://conversationstartersworld.com/questions-to-get-to-know-someone/

 

General Life Tips, Other

Think Before You Ink: Tattoo Advice

(1) A tattoo is a form of body modification where a design is made by inserting ink, dyes and pigments, either indelible or temporary, into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment. Tattoos fall into three broad categories: purely decorative (with no specific meaning); symbolic (with a specific meaning pertinent to the wearer); pictorial (a depiction of a specific person or item).* That’s as technical as I’m going to get with the subject.

If your thinking of getting your first tattoo there is a few things I want you to do, but first let me tell you where I’m coming from with this wisdom. I was 17 when I got my first tattoo, a tramp stamp, a term I learned after I got the butterfly permanently inked on my body. I went to the first tattoo shop I could find, paged through the book for not even ten minutes, put two designs together and that was it. The next minute I was hunching over experiencing the pain of over a thousand needle pricks. I’ve had this tattoo for nearly five years now and I don’t regret it…completely. What I do regret is not spending more time on the design and choosing the right artist for me. I still love the piece because of what it stands for. Plus it’s on my back so it’s not like I see it every day.

My second, third and fourth tattoo was just as impulsive as the first one. They were done by a tattoo artist that really shouldn’t tattoo people. They’re doing more harm than good. I have one botched up tattoo to prove it. Pro tip: It hurts more if the artist doesn’t know what they’re doing. When my fifth tattoo rolled around I’ve managed to learn from my mistakes. I spend two weeks thinking and rethinking my design, creating my own original and custom piece. I then did my research and found the right tattoo artist for the job. Ribs are a tricky place. The result is a tattoo that I love and cherish not only because of the meaning behind it but how great it looks! The trend so far has continued with my latest tattoos.

If you haven’t been able to conclude what I’ve been trying to teach you during my little recap of tattoo fails I will bullet point it for you down below.

  • Tweak and re-tweak your design
  • Do your research: tattoo artist and shop

Also as a side note, you have to be prepared of what people might say and do. As annoying as this next sentence will sound; strangers, acquaintances, friends, family, co-workers, your pet…might have their own two cents to say about your tattoo. It’s frustrating and none of their business but unfortunately even though the times has changed – not everyone agrees with the art of tattoo. AND it’s completely okay. Everyone is different. That’s the great thing about mankind. We are all our own unique blend of cookie dough.

Source(s):

(1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tattoo

Link to my botched tattoo blog — https://fitcouchpotato.com/2018/02/16/my-botched-tattoo/

Get inked or die naked…

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General Life Tips, Other

So You Want To Au Pair Abroad? This Is What You Need To Know…

Leaving home isn’t always easy. So going abroad for a set amount of time and taking on the big responsibility of being an Au pair isn’t for everyone. BUT it’s an experience like no other and something I’m so happy and grateful for being able to have done. It’s life changing and eye opening. If it’s something you’re interested in then don’t let fear stop you. I was an Au pair in the Netherlands for one year with two kids. I can honestly say that it has changed me as person like no other experience could’ve.

  1. Kiddie Love

This probably sounds funny and obvious but I really can’t express it enough. You really need to love children and I mean all the different parts of it. The good and the bad. Children aren’t always easy. They’re going to test your limits and really see just how patient you can be. There will be days when you honestly don’t want to deal with the same nonsense and there will be days you love your host kids so much that the idea of leaving them physically hurts.

  1. Country Love

If you’re going to au pair in another country it really needs to be a country YOU are interested in. It’s going to be your new home for a year so it really needs to be a place you feel like you can fit in, experience new things and really embrace and learn from the culture.

  1. Host Parents

Please take your time with choosing a host family/parents. Don’t just choose a family because they chose you and your scared you won’t find a family. No. Kick this idea right out of your head. These people are not only going to be your family and basically the baseline in this strange and new country but they’re also going to be your boss. You have to have similar views and interest or it won’t always be a breeze in the park.

  1. Au Pair Friends

Having Au pair friends is really a blessing in disguise. They’re experiencing the exact same thing than you are: the frustrations that can come with looking after kids, the home sickness, the struggles with the new culture and language and overall they’re your support in this new environment. They’re your comedian relief. They’re someone to have fun, unwind and most importantly to grow with.

  1. Wise Company Choices

Choose your company wisely. They’re going to effect the entire experience in ways you won’t imagine. You can get absolutely wonderful companies that truly carries your best interest to heart, but then you get horror companies that basically…to put it nicely screw you over. Do your research on the company, specially Google their names with words like scandal, horrible company etc. If someone didn’t have a great experience with them it will be somewhere on the internet. Go to their Facebook page, try to contact other au pairs that went through them and not just that, go with your instinct. If you feel good about the company then that’s all you need to know. I recommend House-o-Orange for my South African Au Pairs: https://www.house-o-orange.nl/

Take the leap and Au pair. At least once.

child-594519PS: It’s not always going to be fun and games but again, it’s a great experience. You really ‘grow up’ while you Au pair. If you’re interested, go for it!

Edit from future Cassy – 25/06/2018

I know that I promised to write about my actual au pair experience but after long consideration I’ve decided against doing so. I respect my host family too much to share about it in such a public platform. In the end of the day I need to respect their privacy and I also need to take into account that one day the host kids might read it. It’s not like there was many bad experiences, heck I will cherish some of my memories with the kids forever but too write about it honestly I need to be able to share the good and the bad you know. I’m sure you will all understand.

General Life Tips, Other

How To Make A Long Distance Relationship Work

Relationships aren’t always easy. Its filled with great memories and pointless arguments. The other day my husband and I was arguing if the pasta in the container was gluten free or not. We went into great detail with references and we still couldn’t come to a conclusion. Onno still stands by the fact that it was gluten free pasta. He’s dead wrong in case you were wondering. We’ve been together for two years now and more than half of that time we spend apart with 10 000km between us. We weren’t even in the same country. Onno is born and bred in the Netherlands and I came out of a little hole in South Africa. After my VISA came to an end and I had no other choice but to go back home. There I  stayed for a year. Long distance relationships are ten times harder and you need to work double as hard. Doubts that you would never have in a normal relationship starts to pop up. Trust will go a long way.

  1. Stay in touch

This one probably sounds silly but you really need to stay in touch. Every morning send that lovely good morning message, update them throughout your day and then obviously never go to bed without a goodnight message. Include them in your day, tell them about the cat you saw or that weird person you saw on the train. You really need to put in the effort every day even if you both work 8 hours per day and nothing exciting happened..

     2.  Video call as much as possible

Really make it a habit to video call as much as possible. Seeing you loved one’s face can really make all the worlds of differences.

  1. Go on Dates

This probably sounds absolutely ridiculous considering I just mentioned there was 10 000km between us but hear me out. Oh the power of technology. We watched movies together which means we basically watch the exact same movie while Skype is on. We mute it and when we want to say something about the movie we signal the other one to pause. We did this at least twenty times. We also played games together (not as much though) which is basically the same concept as the movie date. You play the game and see who has the better score and etc. If I went to the beach with my family I would record a video. There was a lot of videos in general.

  1. Stay patient and talk about your feelings

As in any relationship you need to stay patient and open. Understand that there will be frustrations and the struggle will be real sometimes. Be completely open with your partner. Tell them when you’re having a bad day because you miss them more than anything in this world.

  1. Have that end goal

Having a date on when you will see each other again will make a massive difference. It’s something to look forward to and something that will make the distance feel a tiny bit smaller. Make it fun, plan what you’re going to do when you see each other again (after the welcome back cuddles obviously) and get that countdown going. The longest countdown we had in between seeing each other was 6 months.

It’s difficult but not impossible. If your love is true than it will work.

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General Life Tips, Other

I’m 21 And I Have A Bucket List

When you think about someone with a bucket list, my best bet is that a healthy twenty one year old women doesn’t come to mind. It’s for the sick and dying. It’s for the dreamers. It’s for the paranoid humans that believe the world is ending. I don’t know…it’s a bunch of bullshit if you ask me. Why wait till it’s too late to start living your life? So I bought a book and started to write.

What do I want in life?

What memories do I want to make?

Some was quite plausible and expected: get married, buy a house, get my degree, move abroad, have children and etc. Now there is also a few things on the list that’s a bit crazy but something I will do mark my words.

Here is a few of my favorite Randoms:

Get a trust tattoo (I’m really okay with this one. My husband will choose the design and I’m really looking forward to it.)

Swim in the sea at midnight (Fun fact: I’m terrified of swimming in the sea. I get full blown panic attacks when in neck depth water in broad daylight. Yeah. Fun.)

Set of fireworks (Last time I was close to fireworks things went bad so this should be interesting)

Learn how to ballet dance (I’m not expecting miracles. I’m going to count a five year old routine as a success.)

Hold a spider for five minutes (Oh hell to the no. Sorry that was reflex.)

I firmly believe that you can’t live your life without ever stepping outside your comfort zone. I strive to challenge myself in every aspect of my life without going to stupid and dangerous means. So I made a list and every time something silly I want to do just for the sake that I’m alive and healthy and can do it I add it to my list. Every now and again I open my little book and see what I want to do. Life is short. I would hate to die without ever have lived.

So yeah, make that list and get out there and live.

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