owning up to my stories pt. I - perfectionism

A while back I read the book ‘The Gift of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are’ by Brené Brown. She talks about the power of vulnerability, and owning up to our stories – that is, the painful ones that might be seen as imperfections in this world of ours – to reach happiness in your life and with yourself, which she beautifully describes as Wholehearted living. As someone who is constantly striving for happiness, while in a constant battle with my imperfections, this book seemed as if it were written for me. During the next couple of weeks, I will take a leap, and share my stories with you. Feel free to share yours as well!


Hello, my name is Cheyenne and I am an extreme perfectionist. I always thought of perfectionism as a positive attitude, striving for the most you can make out of a situation and being the best version of yourself. But to my surprise, the dictionary’s description doesn’t come off so great: 1. The refusal to accept any standard short of perfection, and 2. A doctrine holding that perfection is attainable, especially the theory that human moral or spiritual perfection should be or has been attained. Refusal, doctrine? So much for positivity. I do believe that in some form, perfectionism can be beneficial, motivating yourself to do your utmost best. To bad I got the nasty, mean kind of perfectionism in me, which keeps me from reaching the best version of myself.

'Perfectionism is a self destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame.’  
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are


instadiary june

And another month flew by! Where did the days go? It felt as if June just started yesterday, and everything that happened in between is one big blur - one big blur of paper writing (two more weeks, two more weeks!), lots of food and whine-sessions over big mugs of tea. Just a little longer, and then I can enjoy the beauty of summer (and give this little blog the attention it deserves!).

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1. Big thing this June: I started a sugar detox. Just one more day and then I finished my thirty days of sugarlessness. One of my favorite lunches: banana and egg pancakes with coconut and strawberries.
2. When pizza is a no-no during a sugar detox, what do you do? You make one from scratch. Delicious dough, roasted tomato and pepper sauce, topped with tuna and arugula.
3. I often threw together one of my favorite salads: arugula, couscous, garlic shrimp, cherry tomatoes, avocado and some shredded feta and lemon juice.

4. After a week of fruit and rice cakes as snack, I really craved something with some consistence. I mage these sticky date bars with quinoa without the quinoa, and they were a-mazing. Recipe coming up!
5. Another one of my favorites: stuffed peppers with whole-grain rice, beef, chopped tomatoes, mozzarella and parmesan.
6. The World Cup started! So far I've been able to watch one game due to my deadlines, but I heard the rest of the city party all throughout the other matches.

7. Yeah, deadlines.. they just go on and on and on. To make it a bit more bearable for myself, I packed up my stuff and headed out to the park to study.
8. All that studying and writing was followed by many coffee (or in my case, tea) dates with my classmates/friends. You gotta stick together in though times!
9. Another downside of a busy schedule: hardly any time spent with boyfriend. This past weekend I finally managed to stay over for about a day or four. Many cuddles followed!


little things vol. I

Busy, hectic schedules sometimes makes us miss the little things that make life as beautiful as can be. Those things that can change things around in an instance. Those things you want to remember later, looking back at your life and reminiscing old memories. I know I tend to forget - or perhaps better, oversee those little gems of life. But one sometimes needs to remember to appreciate the little things, and see that they are actually the big things in life.

little things vol I.

At the beginning of these week, my head felt like exploding from everything that was happening around me. Deadlines, presentations, articles, letter, archive studies, hunting for rooms, leading to excruciating headaches. The ones that feel like enormous waves are rushing through your head, crashing hard against every inch of your skull. I needed to get away from everything, so as frustrated as I was, I threw on my runners and went outside. My usual run ends in the park near my house, where I now arrived still rather frustrated by everything and nothing.

But then I started to look around. The park was filled with smiling children, climbing over the jungle gym and playing in the dirt. Students hanging out, spreading out in a big circle, talking, eating and laughing; groups of family, neighbors and friends gathered with all there children: the women talking while sitting in the fresh grass, men standing around and laughing, watching their kids not to fall of the slides; friends playing games, either softball or frisbee, trying not to hit the other park go-ers in the head; and the couples in love, strolling around the park, cuddling on the benches and putting their heads in the grass between the large trees.

little things vol I.

Even though I came there still frustrated, trying to wrap my mind around all the things to be done, I couldn't help to feel overwhelmed by joy when I saw all these happy people. There happiness actually made me happy. They were enjoying life, just by.. being. It was not about deadlines to make, bills to be paid, or chores to be done. They just where there, out in the sun, enjoying there time right then and there. And that is something I have forgotten how to do over the last few years. Inspired by my new insight, the following days I went to the park as well. Initially to study (habits are hard to shake), though I quickly put away my laptop and grabbed a magazine. I enjoyed myself just being there, out in the open and in the sun. Something so simple, so little, and so against my principle of 'work hard, work harder', and it felt good. If you're looking for me, I think you'll just my find my at the park this summer.

What little things made you happy this week?


instadiary may

Long time no see: an instadiary! This time in a different format, pictures from my month of May. As my favorite month of the year, it gets warmer bit by bit, I turn a year older on the fourth, and it's the perfect time for a gradual start of a fun summer.

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1. May is the start of wedding season, right? Boyfriend and I went to our first celebration together in his hometown. We both love an occasion to dress up!
2. The fifth of May is a national holiday in honor of the Netherlands's liberation during the second world war. Of course, this is celebrated with free festivals all throughout the country! I'm a big festival-girl, but haven't got anything lined up for this summer, so I had to grab some festival vibe in May.
3. It was my birthday on the fourth! 23 now, can't believe I'm heading towards my mid-twenties already. I never throw a big party, but love celebrating it with all my family and some good food.

4. May (mostly) provided some good weather for runs. I saw some pretty new places, and pretty flowers!
5. I got the baking-itch and made some white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake bars, I shared the recipe here.
6. And well.. deadlines never end. Just five more weeks, and then I'm done!

7 + 8 + 9. After stressful months that just never seem to end, my friends and I were done. We needed a break, so we took of on a little road trip to the beautiful island of Texel. It turned into one big therapeutic girls weekend with good food, movies, petting baby animals and hanging out on the beach. The best ever!


baking makes a happy girl: white chocolate + raspberry cheesecake bars

If I had to choose one sort of cake to be my favorite in the whole wide world, it would be cheesecake. I have a very deep and profound love for this creamy, sweet piece of cake, I just do! One day, I had some time off, and I knew what time it was: cheesecake time. I wasn't in the comfort of my own kitchen, did not have the exact supplies or a pretty background for pictures, but I just had to make these white chocolate + raspberry cheesecake bars from Yellow Lemon Tree. And I'm very glad I did (so was my boyfriend. And his students who had the last bars left.)

white chocolate + raspberry cheesecake bars.

I remember this little bakery in my old hometown. It looked tiny from the outside - just one display window and a golden door. You wouldn't expect a gigantic room after that little golden door, a bakery decorated with such allure that it looked as if it came straight from Vienna. The sold the biggest cakes I had ever seen (though back then, I was of course much smaller). I went there with my mom, aunt and grandmother regularly, and is still one of my favorite memories from my youth. What I chose, every time? Käsekuchen, always! I think it is here that my love for cheesecakes began. So when I had a little time and wanted to whip out something sweet for coffee in the afternoon and movie night, it just had to be this delicious white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake bars that have been on my to-bake list for so long. White chocolate, raspberry, cookies, you just cannot go wrong!


discovering your own country: ice cream in amsterdam

Sometimes, the towns, villages and cities you visit regularly still have many places to be discovered. One of these cities for me is Amsterdam. I live about half an hour from Amsterdam and go there regularly for research, museums, shopping, food, drinks.. there are so many great things to do in Amsterdam! Fun is that there are always new places to discover, no matter how often you visit that beautiful city. Today - as part of the gelato-bucket list my friends and I are pursuing (ten best gelato shops in the netherlands!) - I found a sweet little shop right in the center: Metropolitan.



movie challenge: february & march

A bit overdue, but I still wanted to share my movies from February and March with you guys! Tgough I was living in my fort of books, working my way through the endless deadlines, I tried to grab a moment here and there to relax and step away from catchy research questions, bibliographies and footnotes by loosing myself in the wonderuous world of movies. Here are my top picks from February and March! 

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ / 5 I had been so excited for this movie, and it did not let me down one bit. In About Time, Tim discovers that he can travel back in time and change what has happened and will happen in his life - his initial project being his love life, of course. About Time is from the same director as Love Actually and The Boat that Rocked, though in this movie he created a perfect mix of romcom, drama and a great soundtrack. And come on, who doesn't love Rachel McAdams?