Another year around the corner already. How did 2021 fly by so fast? Time to look at my list of life goals again to tick off the things that I've accomplished.

I only fully completed 3 out of 9 of last year’s goals. To be honest I just didn’t realize how time-consuming moving and decorating our new home would be – lots of other plans needed to make space for this.

Priorities change so it’s good to be flexible and able to course-correct.

To me, it’s always important to keep the focus on 1 or 2 important goals at once and let all else develop as it goes. Because of this, just like last year, the overview also contains some highlights I could not have planned for.

Goal setting is great, but you gotta leave some room for spontaneity.

A Ice skating

It’s not every year that it freezes so much that we are able to go ice skating in nature here in the Netherlands. So when it does, it is big news and everyone gets excited.

At the beginning of February, we had two beautiful cold weekends with snow, ice and sun. I really enjoyed these days out and about with Evert, my parents, and my sister (and the cats).

A Renovate and decorate our new home

The main goal of this year and one that took up lots and lots of time. Ten months later and we are not even close to done yet. But slowly the place is upgraded and becoming to feel more and more of our own.

I developed a love/hate relationship with this renovation project. On one hand, it feels so satisfying to tweak and improve things. But on the other hand, it’s really stressful to live in between the chaos and to always have a huge home improvement chores list waiting for you.

Gladly, the living room and conservatory are in the final stage now. As soon as we are ready, I will create a post with more before/after photos of the process and of course the results.

A Host a mini-festival in our garden

In between lockdowns and covid-regulations, it was a bit doubtful if we could carry out the party plan, but in the end, we decided to “keep it small” and just do it.

Even though the preparations gave me major stress because I had a bit too much on my plate, it was so so soooo worth it.

I am such a lucky bastard to have this special group of fun friends around me. Everyone fully dressed in an ‘Intergalactic space’ outfit 🚀, a garden full of twinkling lights, laughs all around me and finally, finally, finally dancing the night away again.

A Travel to the Seychelles

We were so stressed and tired from living between the renovation mess, that we needed to get away for a while. So we booked a three-week (work)holiday to my ultimate tropical dream destination.

Considering it is not the cheapest country, we knew we would stay and eat as budget possible. So mostly take-away and home-cooking instead of going out for dinner. It was a price I was definitely willing to pay to be able to experience this beautiful piece of paradise.

These beaches were picture-perfect and the water was so incredibly clear. No photoshop needed here! I just couldn’t put my camera down and wanted to shoot beauty products in each and every corner of this stunning environment.

The absolute highlights of it all were a hike through the Coco the Mer palm tree forest, glass bottom canoeing at Anse Source d’Argent beach, and hanging around with the Giant Algebra turtles.

A Get published

I’ve been published countless times before. But always with either my retouching work or my fakecation project. This time I reached out to Solstice magazine with my own photography series and favorite shoot of the year: Ultimate Minimal.

With this Beauty and Fashion photoshoot, I definitely succeeded in up-leveling my portfolio by creating a more powerful style photo instead of the soft and serene brightly colored ones I had created before.

A Horseriding on the beach

Perfect boyfriend alert. 💖  This was such an awesome day, I still cannot believe it happened. And I didn’t see it coming at all.

I’ve told Evert numerous times how amazing the feeling of a superfast gallop along the beach feels and that I wish I could take him with me to be able to experience this incredible feeling of ‘horse power’. But never could I have guessed that he would take lessons in secret to be able to really make this happen. Weeks on row Evert went to the gym for ‘leg day’ (I thought) but actually, he biked to the riding school to prepare for his surprise.

I was already in awe that I was assigned a beautiful Friesian horse to ride (and feeling pretty nervous because it had been years since I last rode one). But when I realized it was not just a step ride, I just couldn’t believe it. And to top it all off, our drive ended at a beach tent where my parents and friends were all waiting to end the day with a BBQ and party.

Weekend get-aways

Last year Evert and I made it a goal to do a date-night each week. This turned out to be a little too ambitious. We only persisted through January and then fell off the wagon because we received the keys to our new home and were fully consumed by the moving process.

But to make things right we did book a weekend get-away 5 times spread over the year that really helped to take things slow and chill.

  • A bridge keeper’s house in Amsterdam, where we ate chocolate fondue and watched the boats and traffic go by.
  • A room with a bubble bath and sauna in Arnhem to celebrate our 3 years together.
  • A super cute island along the Linge river where we paddled around in a canoe, went supping and sat around the campfire.
  • And last but not least; two weekends with friends where we let our inner child out to play at the amazingly creative campings.

A Gardening

I would never have estimated myself as a gardener girl. So in the beginning of spring, I mostly just watched Evert picking and shuffling around in our new garden, thinking I just didn’t get it. But once I made my hands dirty myself, I was hooked.

Gardening is an amazing way to let go of your thoughts and really be present in the moment. It turned out to be the perfect way for me to step away from my desk and take a break from retouching.

Besides the benefits of the meditative state I feel while gardening, it is also really rewarding to see how the energy you put into it, comes into bloom and grows into an outdoor space you love and nurture.

Even my view of other people’s gardens has changed. I can now truly appreciate a green and clean-looking lawn or lush plants and blooming flowers, because I know how much time and care goes into them.

A Nomadding in Spain

It was a pretty spontaneous decision to join our friend Janneke’s birthday week in Spain. And that’s exactly what I love about working as a solo freelancer: having the freedom to grab your laptop and go wherever, whenever – digital nomad style.

And so we ended up with 19 people + 5 dogs in a castle in Malaga. Working in the daytime, enjoying the sun in the afternoon (truth be told, we had hoped for a bit warmer temperatures, but that couldn’t spoil the fun), and celebrating life in the evenings and weekend.


It was the year we all hoped to get rid of last year’s covid-difficulties but unfortunately realized those conditions were here to stay.

I got so caught up in the home renovations and the huge delays in our planning that I felt like I hadn’t accomplished a lot this year. But now, looking back at this list, I remember why it is good to sit down and take note of all that has happened. Because it wasn’t that bad (at all).

I realize how fortunate we were to be able to keep our minds busy in between the corona chaos and fully focus on creating a home. And amidst all that even squeezed in some amazing travel adventures.

Actually, it was a pretty awesome year.

I am already looking forward to what’s waiting in 2022. But first, time to create a new list of goals and resolutions for the new year.