Carrie-Can-101-woonideeen

 Image via 101 Woonideeën

I am so totally late with posting and with posting this very blog post, but better late than never, right?

You will probably remember Caroline’s lovely cards that I recently gave away in February? Well, I felt very honored when she asked me to write a guest post for her cute Carrie Can blog. It’s already a while ago, but I wanted to share it with you anyway. While Caroline was taking some time off to spend some quality time with her man and beautiful baby girl Merel, I was one of the guest bloggers to write something on her cool blog. Since Caroline and I both share a love for paper and she just had her first baby girl, it was only normal I chose to write about “Decorating with paper in the nursery”.

So please head on over to her blog to see what ideas I shared on her blog! And when you’re there, say hello to Caroline from me, will you?

And again… Congratulations Caroline! Hope you’re all doing well!

Inge x

Today is going to be a small but positive post. I was pinning away this evening and suddenly the quote “Take time to do what makes your soul happy” crossed my path. And suddenly it hit me. I need to take some time off for myself. And start doing the things I used to love. Like painting, drawing, dancing, jogging, singing and dancing along with the good old classics of Madonna (like I did when I was a teenager in my room — and you’re allowed to giggle, I’m pretty sure you did that too. Once? Ok. Please, say I wasn’t the only one doing this?). Just give my soul some food and energy. I really need to get myself into all these things again, because I truly miss doing all of these things. And it’s not that I don’t want to start, it’s just that I don’t find time enough when I’m alone with my two little boys.

There are so many things I love doing, and that I know I’m good at, but I just forgot about them. Like painting, creating, drawing, dancing (my jazz ballet lessons are soooo long ago…). Strange how life catches up with you and sneaks up on you without you even noticing it. Before you know it, you’re over your ears with work and household and your career, getting married, having children,… Don’t you think so too? I think it is so important to just take some time off from “life” and take some time for your “life” and feed the inner soul.

I thought I’d ask you… What did you love doing when you were younger? Do you still do the things you used to love? Or are there things you would love to pick up again and start doing more? And what would that be?

I would say: here’s to the coming fall season with more time to reflect on things, on life and on ourselves. And start doing little things for our soul.

Cheers to life!

Simply Fabulous Chic - Take time to do what makes your soul happy - Quote

Image: Inge Picqueur for Simply Fabulous Chic

Vandaag wil ik graag iets kleins maar positief posten. Toen ik een beetje aan het pinnen was op Pinterest, kruiste de uitspraak “Take time to do what makes your soul happy” mijn weg. En net op dat moment viel mijn spreekwoordelijke frank. Ik heb dringend nood aan meer me-time. Gewoon wat tijd voor mezelf. En waarin ik opnieuw meer dingen doe die mijn ziel vrolijk maken. Die mij vrolijk maken. Dingen waarvan ik compleet was vergeten dat ik er vrolijk van werd: van schilderen, tekenen, dansen, joggen en luidkeels meebrullen en dansen op oude tunes van o.a. Madonna (ok, ik hoor je lachen, maar ik denk niet dat ik de enige was die dat vroeger deed? Toch? Zeg me niet dat ik de enige was… please?). Dat waren dingen die mijn innerlijke batterijen terug oplaadden. En ik mis ze echt. Ook de tijd van toen, maar vooral de dingen die ik vroeger zo vaak deed en waar er nu nooit niks meer van in huis komt met twee kleine jongetjes in huis.

Toch zot hoe het leven opeens je te pakken heeft hé? Voor je het weet zit je tot over je oren in het werk, met je huishouden, carrière en kinderen. En dan wordt het soms moeilijk om tijd vrij te maken, maar het is zo belangrijk om ook jezelf eens een plezier te doen in plaats van altijd maar mee te draaien in die mallemolen van het leven en de constante stress van alle dagen. Ik denk dat het echt wel van belang is om eens een keertje tijd vrij te maken voor die innerlijke ik. Niet alleen je uiterlijk verzorgen, maar ook je innerlijke. Dat zieltje heeft soms ook eens “ademruimte” nodig.

En dan vroeg ik me af of ik de enige ben die er zo over denkt? Wat vond jij leuk om te doen toen je jonger was? Doe je nog steeds de dingen die je vroeger deed? Of zijn er zaken die je terug wil oppikken en terug meer wil doen? En wat is dat dan?

Ik zou zeggen: op het volgende herfstseizoen! Waar we meer tijd vrijmaken voor wat we écht graag doen, voor ons innerlijke zelf én voor het leven. En om kleine dingen te doen voor onze ziel. Die heeft het soms ook nodig.

Cheers to life!

Inge x

Simply Fabulous Chic blog - Pastel Balloons Art Print by Blanc Coco Photographe

Image via Coco Blanche Photographe

This post is going to be an emotional one and a long one too. Maybe I should start at the beginning of my story. Thanks to Facebook I “rediscovered” a friend of mine a while ago whom I studied English-Italian Translation with, way back in 2000. Sandra and I were in the same group of friends we hung out with when we were students. We went to the same parties, hung out a lot with each other and our mutual friends. But as life goes, after a while you sometimes lose contact with so many people you once knew in school/your neighborhood. Thanks to the worldwide web and Facebook I met Sandra again.

But strange how life goes sometimes. It was only after she posted some pictures of her being pregnant, and giving birth to Bas, now 1 year ago, we started chatting again. When Sandra posted on Facebook she and her partner Bart lost their firstborn son, Bas, my heart broke. Since I am a mother of -now- two boys, I can only imagine the heartache, the pain and the emotions this couple had to go through when losing their baby boy. It is total devastation. Imagine how you carried your baby for 9 months and then after seeing him grow up and doing so well you lose him after exactly 1 month and 2 days? I don’t know what I would do. The world would collapse. For sure.

So I could not not say anything on Facebook. Although it is not so personal as a handwritten card or letter, I had to leave a message that I was thinking of her and her family. But it is so hard to find the right words to give comfort and words of hope to people who lost their baby. I know for sure Sandra’s and Bart’s world stopped for a while. But how they picked their lives back up, how they went through all these emotions together and stuck together, I can only applaud such courage. Brave parents, that’s what they are.

For Bas’ first birthday which is today, they launched a website for him (it’s written in Dutch). To keep his memory alive, to remember him each and every day. And to tell Bas’s story, that he was an energetic, lively and cute little boy who did so well after being born too soon. On the birth card for Bas you’ll see a little boy with balloons. It’s from the hand of the famous Jaklien Moerman, a Belgian illustrator, artist and painter who died in 2011. Her husband gave his blessing to Sandra & Bart who could use the image on their birth card. Heartwarming. As Jaklien Moerman’s drawings remind me of my favorite child book when I was a little girl, “Een koffertje vol dromen” (A little suitcase filled with dreams – with drawings of her), I think the little boy, holding balloons in his hand on that birth card, is absolutely perfect for little Bas.

This weekend Sandra and Bart let some balloons up and fly. Perfect to send little heartwarming messages to wherever little Bas might be — living in the clouds by day, and living in the stars by night. The website for Bas also pays a little tribute to more “star friends” and the parents who lost their babies before, during or after pregnancy. I only hope – with this little blog post – that Sandra and Bart – and so many others who went through the same experience – that when you see a balloon and a star, it will make your day and night brighter. Balloons are the perfect way to celebrate the life of Bas. And I’m sure that when the skies are lit with stars at night, there’s one that will shine extra bright because Bas is watching over Sandra and Bart. When you read the story of Bas, I think we all should be thankful and grateful for this life we are given by our mothers and fathers, and to be thankful for our children’s lives, how short or long they are in ours.

Happy Birthday, Bas and a big hug to you, Sandra and Bart.

Love,

Inge x