Finding calm in Brussels

As I’m sure most of you know, Brussels (my current city of residence) was struck by a horrible terrorist attack last week, March 22nd. The city is slowly getting back up on its feet, and people around me are trying hard to go on with their day-to-day lives. I am not going to elaborate on terrorist attacks, the media, or anything related to these events (because a quick google search will get you immediately caught up), but I would like to reflect and expand on the fellow humans that surround me.

I am currently sitting in a popular coffee shop that is only about half-occupied. On any other day before the attack, this place would be packed, but alas, empty chairs are a-plenty on this particular Tuesday. Up on the speakers are the soothing and uplifting sounds of The Beatles, and around me I can hear various quiet conversations. Some people are quietly discussing current events, and others are deeply consumed by their books and lap tops.

It’s very easy to get consumed by fear. Take it from a girl with generalized anxiety disorder (I am also prone to panic attacks) – the easiest thing to do right now would be to lock myself up at home and feed into dark thoughts. But alas, that isn’t what I’m doing, and I can see that my fellow co-habitants of this city are also resisting the urge to do so. Most people around me seem hopeful. There’s a glimmer of hope everywhere, from the baristas that are managing to keep a smile on their faces and are brightening everyone’s day, to the quiet boy who is blatantly cramming for exams. Life just keeps going.

Recently, I have started dedicating chunks of my day for guided meditations. “Insight Timer” is a free app that my best friend just introduced me to. If you’re a meditation pro, or if you’re a newbie like me, you’re going to love this app. It has an awesome community component, so you can see how many people in the world (or even in your city) are meditating at the moment, and you can message people and thank them for meditating with you. I couldn’t rave about it any more if I wanted to. I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone, especially all of you great people that are prone to getting sucked up by your own thoughts.

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To my fellow people of Brussels, there are plenty of peace-loving humans around you that are going out of their way to create more harmony in this crazy world. If you’re reading this today and you desperately need to get out of your home and to a safe place, there is a mindfulness meditation session at Bon Jour Bruxelles tonight. I’m including the facebook event riiiight here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1695174040754650/
With thoughts of love and peace, I sign out today.
-PositivelyCurvy

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Youtubers I enjoy watching (at the moment)

 

I am a youtube junkie. There, I said it. Youtube videos are my favorite way to procrastinate, as well as a big source of my inspiration. Thus, I’ve put together a little list of my favorite people to watch at the moment (in no particular order)!

Casey Neistat
Vlogger, founder of an app called Beme, resident of Manhattan. I spent a good chunk of last year living in the city, so Casey’s vlogs are very nostalgic for me. The fact that his tame-lapses are amazing and that he gets to do fun stuff all the time don’t hurt either.

https://www.youtube.com/user/caseyneistat

Michalaks
British family vloggers. Their content is comforting, and their cinematography is outstanding. If you wanna be in awe and have 30 minutes to kill, head for one of their vlogs.

https://www.youtube.com/user/alittlebeautyvlog

Doddleoddle
Dodie is a british youtuber that plays the ukulele. She’s a songwriter, and she tends to put up fun little videos from time to time. I like her.

https://www.youtube.com/user/doddleoddle

Rachel Aust
Rachel’s youtube channel consists of minimalism, minimalism, and more (or less?) minimalism. She makes videos on various topics, mainly fitness / health / food/beauty/lifestyle. Her videos are really calm so they’re super great if you’re trying to unwind and relax.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvIaf-RCk5mQiH8rI0rODlg/videos

Emmymadeinjapan
Emmy’s really fun! She gets foods from hundreds of different countries sent to her from her viewers, and she tastes things on camera. Her voice is really soothing and she’s great at explaining flavors. I always head for her videos in the morning.

https://www.youtube.com/user/emmymadeinjapan

Samika Vlogs
The Andersons are family vloggers and they’ve been my favorite for the longest time now. They have a cute two year old boy named Noah and are pregnant with a little girl named Penelope.

https://www.youtube.com/user/sammmfood

JoJo Lomelino
I couldn’t not include this channel. Jojo is a sassy little girl who always has something to say, and her dad is usually behind the camera asking her questions. She’s so stinkin’ adorable.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLnL-RfWmIR7K37enFVlw6w

These are just a few faves! Let me know if you have any favorites that are worth a view or two! 🙂

-PositivelyCurvy

Lush BIG shampoo review

I am a lady of many interests, and as it happens, beauty / skincare / haircare, are up there as some of my favorite things to talk about. To start off, I have fine, soft hair, and a LOT of it. It’s currently short/medium length, and it’s extremely easy to take care of. My only issue is that it goes a bit oily and flat the day after washing it.

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I’ve read and heard so many varied reviews on the Lush BIG shampoo. This shampoo is unlike anything I’ve ever tried before. It’s a gel-like consistency (thinner than gel, definitely not sticky), with HUUUUGE chunks of sea salt in it. I found it weird to work the sea salt into my hair, but I generally trust Lush products and trusted the shampoo.

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My verdict?
I love it. It did give me tons of volume, and while it doesn’t feel as softening as other shampoos in lush, it really gave my hair texture as well as that super clean feeling. I hate washing my hair and feeling like there’s still product in it once I get out of the shower. If you have extremely dry or course hair this is NOT THE SHAMPOO FOR YOU. If you’re like me and have soft, fine hair – you should absolutely give it a go!

 

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Have you ever tried this shampoo? What are your thoughts on it?
-PositivelyCurvy

Speckles of perfection

You know those magical scenes in movies where for a moment everything is perfect? Moments that feel like they could never be ruined, because they feel so real and right. Well, those moments are staged, but in my life I’ve had a handful of experiences that seemed almost a bit too perfect in the seconds or minutes they were happening. 

These minuscule moments will forever hold vivid stories, feelings and memories.

(In chronological order)

[9 years old] It was a really hot day in June, school had just let out, and I was over at my friend Sophia’s house. We were in her kitchen that had a door leading to the back yard. We lived in Maryland, where summers are humid and sticky. There was a can of Sierra Mist on the table. We ran out into her yard where there were either sprinklers or a hose, and ran through them to cool down. I don’t remember much else from that day, but that moment has for some reason stuck with me as a memory near and dear to my heart. 

[15 years old] It was a Friday night and I was out with a bunch of people. I don’t remember much about where we were and what we were doing, but I do remember my friend Jana and I walking into a shopping center, looking for an ATM and speaking really loudly in British accents, finding it hilarious. All of a sudden, a man turned around and said “Oh my god, are you from England?! I’M FROM ENGLAND TOO!”. It was funny because 1) our accents were probably horrible and 2) we were in an empty shopping mall in the middle of Skopje, Macedonia.

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[16 years old] My friend Iva and I were at our favorite bar, our friends were playing a gig that night, and everyone was drunk. We were all dancing, and the moment the band started playing “I bet that you look good on the dance floor” by the Arctic Monkeys, my friend Iva and I danced like there was nobody around us whatsoever. Everything felt right. I felt free and happy, and at those few minutes, life was perfect. 

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[18 years old] My friend Simona and I went on vacation together, just the two of us. We were on a Greek island and we rented a shitty little scooter to get around. I remember us riding that scooter on the side of a mountain, the sun burning the top of my right foot, the wind blowing in my face, and I remember feeling a sense of overwhelming happiness. Freedom really is renting a shitty motor bike with one of your best friends on a Greek island.

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[19 Years old] It was a weekday, and it was about 10 pm. Lindsey and I had been writing essays all evening, and I remember that she looked at me and said “wanna grab all our stuff and go sleep in the woods”? With no hesitation on my part, we grabbed everything we needed (sleeping bags, yoga mats, warm clothes) and took off. I remember one of our housemates looked at us being like, aaare you serious? We were. After that I remember falling asleep to soothing soothing sounds of nature. We woke up bright and early when an otter (or some other animal) jumped into the water nearby and made a big splash. We made it to our 8:30 am class the next morning with time to spare.

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[20 years old] The particular moment I remember the most was 3 am, sitting on the pavement in front of train station in Pistoia, Italy with Tijana. The 24 hours before that moment consisted of a car ride, a plane ride, a bus ride, two trains, trying to find the room we booked in Florence, and an Arctic Monkeys concert. I remember that as we waited for the first train back to Florence (which was at 6 in the morning), I was still trying to mentally process everything that had happened – and it was perfect.

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[20 years old] Kyle and I were in London, walking out of a Jake Bugg concert. We were free, happy, full of adrenaline, and I remember stumbling out of the venue and just feeling like “HOLY SHIT LIFE IS AMAZING”. Always a great thing.

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[21 years old] My friend Hannah and I were at a diner near school, it was a Saturday at about 10:30 in the morning, and the diner was full of old people. We were eating farmers omelets that tasted like real, delicious food. I took a sip of my diner coffee (free refills) and felt a cold drop on my shoulder. Turns out, the roof was leaking right above me. It was a perfectly imperfect diner brunch date.

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I feel like I could go on forever, but this is a good start. None of these moments were spectacular, but they’re all perfect bits of time that will forever be a part of me. 

-PositivelyCurvy

Traveling to Amsterdam?

As a writer and blogger, it’s no surprise that planning and making lists are some of my favorite things in life. When the chaos in my mind gets translated into actual words, plans, directions, I am a happy lady.

Speaking of plans, there is nothing more exciting than making travel plans. Okay – there’s one thing that’s maybe a little more exciting. Making travel plans with your best friend that currently lives on another continent!!! *jumps from joy because ALL OF THE EXCITEMENT*

We’re starting our trip off in Brussels, where I currently live. I’m just about to book a hostel for a night in Ghent and we’re potentially going to look into a night (or maybe even 2?!) in Amsterdam. Ghent is one of my favorite places in Belgium, and I’ve never been to Amsterdam before, so I’m sure that’ll be a good experience.

Have any of you been to Amsterdam before? I could use some tips / hostel recommendations / advice! 🙂

Everything is happening in about two weeks and I’m so excited to share photos and stories on here.

-PositivelyCurvy