Journal Pages: House Haunting

In exactly one month, a big truck will pull up to our house, and all of our belongings will be taken away by strong men with boxes. At least, that's how I picture it will go. Because, we found a house in London! 

We did a quick trip to London end of October to do some house hunting. Which was exactly as horrid as you would imagine - apartments in London are expensive, tiny, and ugly. At least the first 8 apartments we saw were like that, and some of the more promising ones were taken off the market right as our relocation officer drove us around town to get there. We went through the ghetto and back, to closet-sized apartments on shmansy streets, and waited around for real estate agents who in the end turned out not to have the key to apartments we were eager to look at. 

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

We were about to give up - talking of plans for another round of searching, possibly staying somewhere temporarily for a while, perhaps even looking at completely different neighborhoods, when we visited 'our' apartment.

Bright, not too tiny (still small), cute mixed neighborhood, right near a 'tube' station, perfect. We put a bid out almost immediately. Yes, a bid. I had never heard of it either, but apparently tenants can outbid each other until you put a crazy fee down (which we did).

Fortunately, the bid was accepted after much back and forth, and we spent the next day walking around our new home town and eating Turkish food near our future place. That was probably the last time we'll ever be able to go out to dinner as we'll be poor from the minute we arrive in London, so I'm glad to inform you it involved a very, ehm, motivated belly dancer. 

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

As soon as we got back to Utrecht, we started sorting out our belongings. The new place is about half of the size of our current apartment (and about 2 times as expensive, so it works out in a strange, messed-up way), so we can't bring all of our stuff along. It's a great way to get rid of the junk we've been collecting and haven't looked at for years (college notebooks anyone?), but there also won't be room for some of the good stuff, like my drawing table or any of my studio equipment.

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

Fortunately, there wasn't much time to mourn our earthly possessions, as we boarded another airplane on our way to Lisbon, Portugal! I'd booked this trip a while back as a surprise for Jochem. Totally irresponsible, of course, and looking at it in hindsight we should have saved our precious Euros, but it was a welcome distraction. Sunny, beautiful, delicious, and relaxing. 

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

The week after, I got a new tattoo! I had decided on the design a while ago and had booked my appointment a few weeks ago, but I was still nervous because that stuff hurts like a mother. I lived, though, and although the tattoo right now is looking scabby and itches badly, it turned out real nice. 

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

Last week, it was back to normal life. Taxes, bills, scary movies. The usual. 

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

But not before I took one more trip to London to attend a few meetings. I decided to fly in in the morning and fly out the same evening, which sounded like a good plan. Until I had to get up at 4 am to catch my 7 am flight. Fun times, but all the meetings went really well, and at least I won't have any trouble sleeping this week. 

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

And then it was today and I'm drinking coffee and reading John Steinbeck before I get started on my work for the day. So. Bye then! 

Journal Pages: Muricah

It's been a while since I've posted some journal pages, but rest assured it was with good reason.  I was hanging out in good ol' 'Muricah again with some amazing colleagues. But not before I got kind of sick and tired. Not of something. Just a little sick and mostly tired. And paranoid.

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

Fortunately, I had some great in-flight entertainment to cheer me up during my flight.

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

I had a day 'off' before work started, and I did some sketching outside in Central Park and the American Museum of Natural History. I also cried during the show on dark matter in the planetarium. Because everything's awesome and big an amazing and people are so smart and I'm a role model to all the 3 year olds who were also crying (probably because they were afraid of the dark). You can be 30 and cry in the planetarium and that's cool because when you're 30 you've got a credit card and you can buy awesome shit in the nerdy gift shop afterwards to make yourself feel better. I bought this hologram thing for Jochem and it's awesome. 

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

The day after, I met up with a colleague to catch a train to Hudson, in upstate New York for a very inspiring offsite event. The days were pretty busy and social, so I didn't do much drawing but I loved Hudson. It's a weird little town, with long streets of colorful wooden houses, great little coffeeshops, and weird backstreets. The train ride up was amazing, too. Upstate New York in the fall is famous for a reason.

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

The last few days of the week I spent working in the Brooklyn office, more hanging out with colleagues, and maaaaybe some shopping. Also: drawing, of course. I've been so obsessed with drawing houses, lately. 

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

And then I flew back home and slept for five years. Next up: our London house hunting trip! Eek!

Healing Meals: Free Recipe - Lemon Lettuce Lassi

 © Kyra de Vreeze & Anna Denise Floor - Healing Meals - October 2014

Happy weekend everyone!
Hope you're all having an amazing day so far, but if not, let me make things all better by giving you a free healthy recipe to get going today! This fresh lemon lettuce lassi recipe is based on all the medicinal magic that romaine lettuce has got to offer. 

This recipe is featured in the e-cookbook 'Healing Meals' written by Kyra de Vreeze and illustrated by moi. You can buy the entire e-book with over 25 recipes in our Etsy store! All proceeds go directly to us, so by purchasing a copy, you're not just doing your body a favor, you're also supporting us as independent publishers of yummy stuff (and their adorable babies and kittens, just saying)! 

© Kyra de Vreeze & Anna Denise Floor - Healing Meals - October 2014 -- Click image to enlarge!

For sale now: 'Healing Meals' on Etsy

"What's that little star for?" I asked when my friend Kyra randomly added a * to the title of our book? "That's the sparkle / tear in our eye from all the hard work and jet laggy-ness," she answered. 

Boy, was she right. It's been a long time since I've felt this tired, but two days after returning from my second US trip in a months (so many stories and drawings to share! Soon!), I am beyond thrilled (and a little shaky) to announce the launch of our first e-cookbook Healing Meals. 

The book is available as a digital download and all recipes are vegetarian, gluten-free, lactose-free, sugar-free, and fun to make. The 25 recipes all have one single ingredient as its centerpiece with all the information you need to get the most flavor and nutritional value out of each, and gives you a straightforward list of their individual medicinal benefits. 

So, you know. Buy it now. Click the big button! Shoo!

Sneak Peek: 'Healing Meals' Illustrated e-Cookbook

YOU GUYS! I am so excited! If you happen to follow me on Facebook, you've already seen bits and pieces of the big news floating around, but here's the official official actual real announcement: on October 21st 'Healing Meals', an e-cookbook written and photographed by the award-winning author, naturopath, food photographer & bodymind chef Kyra de Vreeze and illustrated and designed by me (aaah!) will hit the Etsy shop

After a long summer filled with writing, styling, drawing, writing, and tasting we're so incredibly proud to present you with the official cover design. Tadaaa!

© Anna Denise Floor & Kyra de Vreeze

A Little Bit About 'Healing Meals'

In this book, Kyra highlights one ingredient at a time (broccoli, carrot, eggplant, kombu, romaine, shiitake, and 19 more - all illustrated by yours truly, of course) and shows you how tasty and healthy these vegetables actually are. It includes tips on cooking techniques that will help you get the most nutritional value out of each of them and provides you with a straight-forward list of their individual medicinal benefits. 

Did you know the healthiest way to prepare broccoli is by steaming it for 5 minutes? and did you know this technique will boost its wound healing, immune enhancing & detoxifying properties? 

'Healing Meals' features ingredients that promote mental clarity, glowing skin, optimal metabolism & healthy joints. there are ingredients that will help heal arthritis, edema, PMS, restlessness, candida, and insomnia. Kyra shows you which ingredient will act as preventative medicine & what it can be used for, as their healing powers are endless.

Now, I know what you're thinking. You don't have time. You have a job. Children. Hobbies. You need to save the world. Go dancing with friends. Watch a bunch of cat videos. We do to. So we made sure you don't need to have forever to make your meals magical. Good food CAN be quick, simple, and tasty at the same time. We promise.

Most recipes featured in ‘Healing Meals’ take a mere 15 minutes to prepare and only need a maximum of 10 easy and affordable ingredients.

So in short: good, healthy food AND a social life. Eat that!

Journal Pages: Nervous Wrecks & Lunatics

September wasn't great, I'm not going to lie. Lots of little things just kept piling on until I could feel stress bunching up not just in my shoulders and neck, but creeping into my toes and fingers. Turns out you can turn 30 and learn a lot about how not to deal with tension, but somehow forget (or actively ignore) ways to release it in a healthy way. Fortunately, you can always count on some Jehova's witnesses to ring your doorbell when the hour is most tense - reminding you to just shut that door and cuddle a cat instead.  

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

This weekend I had another breakdown after we found out some of our winter coats and books  had grown some additional fur in the form of mold. My colleague says this house is just bad luck and I'm starting to believe her. Instead of throwing myself a weekend long pity-party as would have been absolutely appropriate I think, I went to the art supply store and got myself some fresh inks, illustrated by exhibit A below.

I remembered this story because that same colleague - I'll just say her name: Ingrid - recently tried to get rid of one of her very own fingertips. I remember this incident very clearly. I felt so sorry for my mom for obviously having the IQ of a doorknob. Fingers clearly look nothing like grass, you poor lady! 

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

Hope you're all having a great start of October so far and I'll be back soon, I promise. Fun updates ahead!

Journal Pages: Stolen Stuff

Last weekend I went to Brussels to visit friends for the first time in almost a year. I hadn't been to the city because somehow I just couldn't deal with it emotionally, but now I felt ready and eager to see my friends, colleagues, and the city again. I almost cried of joy, walking out of the station. Which is surprising, because Brussels train stations smell like piss, mostly. Piss and waffles, to be exact. But you know me, I am nothing if not a little dramatic at times - and drama I would get.

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

After dinner and drinks, my friends and I were having one last drink. I went to the bathroom for a minute, came back, and my backpack was gone. With everything in it. Money, passport, phone, laptop, creditcards, ipod, books, sunglasses, my favorite clothes, makeup, medication, tickets, art supplies, and my journal. This journal. 

After hours and hours of waiting and finally being able to leave a statement at the police station, I went to spend the night at my friend D's house. It's a crazy feeling to have nothing on you but the clothes on your back. If you're expecting me to say it felt 'liberating' - wrong blog, dude. I felt absolutely lost and emotional about someone else touching MY stuff with their dirty hands. I told you it would get dramatic.

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

Fortunately I watched a lot of Disney when I was little and this story ends well, with a knight in shining armor and fruit smoothies. 

When Jochem came to pick me up the next day (he drove all the way down here), he had good news: the police had called him to tell him they had found most of my personal belongings in a little park next to the police station, a few blocks from where my backpack had been stolen. Those personal belongings included my journal! We went out for smoothies to celebrate, drove home, and I collapsed and lived happily ever after.

The End.

 

 

Journal Pages: Up in the Clouds

I've been feeling better (my flu has a great work ethos and only grabs me on weekends and holidays) and I have been traveling for work quite a lot. It's been busy but good. There are a lot of moments in my life right now where I take a big breath in and feel insanely happy and blessed to be where I am at. My life is made out of pretty amazing stuff and I'm enjoying every bit of it. 

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

Journal Pages: I Gave You Fever

It's been full on fall here in Holland this week and fall means flu and phlegm. I know, I know. You live for these kinds of blog posts. Fortunately, over-sharing is my middle name. Also, that's how Mr. Floor got the flu. We're like communists, sharing everything even if it makes no sense and it takes away your will to live. 

In any case, these were again done in watercolors and Copic markers and I had real trouble getting the colors just right, but I just couldn't be bothered. 

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

Keeping a Travel Journal: Art Supplies & Tips

© Anna Denise Floor

Keeping an illustrated travel journal of your journey can be incredibly rewarding and romantic. It is an amazing souvenir and the process of creating will help you be more attentive to the little things and big sights you'll see on your trip. You'll remember and appreciate everything around you that much more.

It can also be hard and annoying. Why would you spend all this time drawing and sitting around when there's so much to do and see? Why carry around a notebook and paints and pens, when you can just bring your phone and take a quick snapshot?

Good point and this is why I believe in having a good travel-ready journal kit with you wherever you go. 

 © Anna Denise Floor

My Travel Journal Kit

The kit fitted comfortably in my small backpack and weighed next to nothing. 

© Anna Denise Floor

Top Travel Journal Tips

  • Draw a little every day - and don't forget to bring your kit! It'll help you to quickly get into a habit of observing the world around you more closely. 
  • Take your time and make sure your travel companion knows what he or she is in for! Nothing is worse than feeling rushed when you feel like drawing, so discuss this in advance. Jochem usually brings a book to read (or occasionally joins me by doing some drawing or writing of his own!), but you can also just agree to meet each other again in an hour or so. Finding a comfortable drawing spot on a terrace of a wine bar usually helps, too. 
  • Just pick something to draw, anything. In the picture above I'm drawing one small part of a gorgeous old Roman ruin. It had much better parts and the view of the ocean on the other side was no doubt better as well, but I picked this bit of wall because, well, there was a bench in front of it and there weren't a million tourists around taking selfies. Looking back at the postcard I drew there, I remember the whole place, not just the wall, so mission accomplished, I think. 
  •  Write down in your journal what you did that day if you really didn't have time to draw (or just didn't feel like it). It'll help you remember - plus it'll make your trip seem that much longer. 
  • Be flexible. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. And always bring along a headlamp when you go camping in a tiny dark little tent and you want to be artistic after sundown. You sexy thang!

© Anna Denise Floor

Need More?

I made a little zine about how to keep a journal on the road. It's not huge, but it's got some good tips and fun illustrations! You can buy it here, in my Etsy shop.