Slightly Orange

The “one month no chocolate” experience

by Nina de Haan

On a wintry day Saskia and I radically decided to quit on chocolate for one month. The month March it would be. So we would not be having chocolate of any form; neither cacao, cacaoless white chocolate nor food with chocolate aroma of any sort. The idea behind this boycott was to become more conscious about our sugar consumption and that maybe after this month we would enjoy chocolate even more than we already do! Here you can read on our experiences and findings.

Nina’s chocolate diary

I was determined to just not eat chocolate for a while, as some sort of detox and to become more conscious about my sugar consumption. I could’ve also banned all sugar treats, but chocolate covers about 80% of my sugar intake so this seemed sufficient. I have done this before a few years ago and I remember that I caught myself eating chocolate about four times that one month.

Okay here goes. I started really good by resisting all chocolate things that came near me, just as brownies made by my mom (on the first of March, really?!), banana custard with chocolate sprinkles and tiramisu ice cream (I looove tiramisu!). So far so good. On March 9 Saskia came over for our very first true girls night, oh yeah, and then my visiting aunt served pie (one of the super sweet foamy kind!) with a small amount of chocolate on top. We ate it. Most of the chocolate was camouflaged, so that doesn’t count, right? Plus karma already got me by allowing the nuts on the side to make my throat itch.

Back on track! It went quite well actually, apart from that one time. What I was missing most is having chocolate sprinkles on bread. Other sweet toppings are just less nice. Celebrating Pi Day had some restrictions now, but the pumpkin pie was very good so it didn’t matter. March covers the run to Easter which means chocolate eggs! It is quite easy to not buy them, looking at the price tags, and I haven’t taken one of the eggs presented in bowls when paying in stores. Yeah! I was glad to realize that I like cinnamon, gingerbread cookies (the Dutch ‘speculaas’) and coconut about equally as chocolate.

It can only go downhill from here. This winter I developed the habit of buying chocolate chip cookies whenever it was freaking cold on a train station, which was quite often, to comfort myself and to be able to enjoy the warmth of the kiosk for a moment. I hadn’t done this in March until the 22th, but that day I had a good reason to be eating consolation chocolate. When I arrived at my parents, my mom offered me home made cake with some chocolate cream spots in it. Well, okay. If it changes anything: it didn’t really taste like chocolate to me.

vegancupcakes

From that moment on, I kind of stopped caring about the chocolate free project. I kept keeping track of my chocolate intake, though, which was quite confronting.

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Make the most of your Easter

by Nina de Haan

This year’s Easter will be celebrated on the 31th of March and the 1st of April. Have you made your plans already? Here’s some more ideas worth considering.

Kick-start the day with an Easter Breakfast! I assume you know how to have breakfast, so I won’t go into detail, except: don’t forget about the eggs! If you like them that is. Plus you can do some extensive Easter themed baking, whether or not for breakfast.

Last year a friend and I ceremoniously shared KinderSurprise chocolate eggs. The idea for this was actually Amber’s. I still like it, except for those eggs being too expensive and the toys being, naturally, childish. You can also surprise each other with a hand painted boiled egg. Or anything else really. Hooray for Easter gift giving!

Getting tired of the eggs? Go haze instead! Organize a chocolate haze fondue. It’s rather sad to see him go down, but oh well, it’s a chocolate haze, were you planning on keeping him? You’ll get over it, by eating lots of his chocolate.

When the weather allows, you can have an Easter Fire in the evening! Or just  a regular campfire, or whatever is possible for you. A campfire is a good way to welcome the better weather and to get your friends excited for more campfires during the warm season and to make a lots of plans for the summer.

This might be cliche and childish and all, but: organize an Easter egg seeking event! You can make it less childish by adding an alcohol aspect or – I don’t know, be creative!

It’s only logical to send each other Christmas cards, no matter how religious you are, but Easter cards are way more unexpected and therefore, in my humble opinion, way nicer! You can make them yourself and make them very spring-ish with chickens and hazes and flowers and everything you and your friends like. Or you could google instead.

I hope you are now full of ideas and enthusiasm for upcoming Easter. The weather looks promising*, so let’s make it great!

happy easter tweet

Tweet from here via Tumblr.

* Well, now I am just making that up, but it can’t be that bad, right? How much longer will this winter take? Jeez.

Pie for Pi Day

by Nina de Haan

Today, on March 14, or 3/14, we celebrate Pi Day, dedicated to the mathematical constant π (pi), which has 3.14 as its approximate value.

What could be a better way of celebrating Pi Day than to bake a pie and eat it? Exactly, there’s none! Say hello to our Pi Day pumpkin pie!

pumpkin pie

Happy Pi Day!

Bikini Season

by Nina de Haan

You wouldn’t think so with Winter still dropping snow flakes on the earth, but, ladies and gentlemen, we are slowly approaching Spring, and Summer even. Are you already in the mood? I can’t wait for it to get warmer really – it would be nice to go outside again.

Last year tried to find a new bikini, but my bikini quest didn’t actually result in me getting one. What I did get last year is a garden, so this year I expect a lot more bikini opportunities! Which means I will try again to find a nicer bikini than the plain grey/brown one I am still using.

From my web shopping era I remembered that ASOS used to sell a lot brands focussing on bikinis, so that’s where my fresh new quest headed first. Here’s the result of browsing through ASOS’ collection.

B-I-K-I-N-I

Piha, InsightSeafolly, SeafollyPlayful PromisesFrench Connection

What do you think? I like ’em, but I’m afraid they’re all out of my league. Maybe your league reaches higher? Furthermore, I like girls in bikinis on my blog. It must have a positive effect on the size of our visitor database. Next time I’ll do lingerie. And men – in whatever they are and aren’t wearing.

Amazing bookshelves

by Saskia

My recent adoration for books and a desire to move out some day has led me to completely falling in love with these incredible bookshelves. The fact that my own books are shattered across the room because of a lack of a proper bookcase or shelf, makes me want them even more. Side note: pictures are clickable and will lead you to their rightful owner.

ceiling shelves

baroque grahamandgreen

copy_1_deboom2

upside down

ceiling shelves 2

Braid appreciation post

by Nina de Haan

cute braid girl

braid2

braid

mermaid-braid

Source and girl unknown, Pull&Bear t-shirt, image by  Lisa Congdon (colors altered), mermaid hair from Topshop’s Tumblr. The fish tail braid is missing in the pictures, just as this pastel hair strand braid.

Innocent smoothies

by Saskia

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I’ve always been a sucker for cute packaging and good tasting smoothies. Lucky for me, Innocent smoothies has both. Our paths crossed a couple of years ago when I was on a holiday in Scotland with my dad and my sister and I wanted something else than Coca Cola or tea. In the supermarket while looking for something juicy, my eyes caught the cute Innocent smoothie packaging. We brought it home and it was DE-LI-CIOUS! The rest of the holiday I stuck by Innocent and tried most of their flavours. Back in the Netherlands, it was even more expensive than it was in the U.K. and I have to admit – I had a bit of a smoothie-overload. I didn’t have any until I started my study in Eindhoven and had to travel by train every day. Because what I saw when I walked into a little food shop at the station, thirsty like no other: Innocent smoothies in little bottles! I’m not buying them every day because well, they’re just a bit expensive and I just buy them when there’s something special like passing a test, just to treat myself.

But this month, the bottles were the special reason I bought 3 in a week. 3 in 3 days, to be exact. And I’m not denying my collection might grow over the next few weeks…

flesjeskopie

How incredibly cute are these little hats? The last few months (I think) everyone could knit little hats and send them over to Innocent Headquarters, which would put them on their little bottles. For every Innocent bottle with hat sold, they donate a part of the money to a good cause, which I believe is different in every country.

That is not the end of my addiction to Innocent. I have a recipe book as well, which is the cutest since forever. The lay-out is super cute and there are random articles in between the recipes. My version is in Dutch, but the original is in English.

boek1kopieThe front cover – a recipe on one page and very pretty photos on the other

boekkopieWhat fruits go in the blender – Workout while you’re waiting for your smoothie

Besides all the pretty-ness of their products, they also taste really good and are 100% natural. So, big yay for Innocent!