dreams

All posts tagged dreams

Me, Walter Mitty and some Fab Curry Noodles

Published December 30, 2013 by The Feminist

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“Stop Dreaming. Start living.” When I came across an advertisement for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty in my local newspaper, it felt as if the movie’s motto was directly aimed at me. You see, dear readers, I am a daydreamer. I dream about romantic rendezvous with handsome strangers,  about shouting very eloquent yet insulting stuff at my professor, about dancing the samba in the middle of the school corridor, about being a guest on the Graham Norton Show and sitting next to Miranda Hart…

Oh yes. I dream. I dream BIG.

Normally I would say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with dreams. Dreams are the epitome of your heart’s desires and hopes. It is the dream that keeps us going; what gives us the energy to wake up every morning and say to ourselves: Yes, let’s do this!

However, for many people- and I count myself among them- dreams just remain dreams. We don’t act on them. And that is where the problem lies.

What’s the point of dreaming BIG, when you’re living small? It seems as if dreaming- daydreaming in this case- prevents us from seeing the truly magical that is happening right under our nose. Why do we keep living in a world full of fantasy, so unachievable and out of reach? Hell, chances are small that I will ever sit on Graham Norton’s red couch, so why do I keep wasting my time with this silly fantasy? I am now starting to realize that daydreaming leaves us numb to the world around us. To all the things that actually are possible.

So when I saw the poster of Ben Stiller’s movie, I thought to myself: “This is a sign that I need to start living. No more silly daydreams. But real and honest living in the moment”

Live a little.

Consequently, whether you like it or not, this also involves taking risks once and a while. So last week, I did something I never thought I would dare to do. (I won’t elaborate on this, since this is not a diary -and who knows what kind of creeps are reading this blog!-but let’s just say it involved a handsome stranger 😉 )

Unfortunately for me, my leap into the unknown ended up being a bit like the season finale of Homeland: full of disillusion and anticlimax.

Still.

I am so proud of myself. Because in order to fly high you sometimes need to fall flat on your face. The fall might hurt, but in the end we will come out stronger than ever! Like a phoenix rising from the ashes! (God, I totally sound like a fortune cookie writer right now! )

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Anyway, you get my point. Life is for the living. So live it, dear readers!

Ps: After a week of taking risks, I decided it was time to actually go and see the movie that inspired me to act. I have to admit that I normally avoid Ben Stiller movies because they are most of the time immature and badly written, but this movie is different. It is funny, it is inspiring, it makes you think and it gives you hope. And guess what? Ben Stiller for once isn’t totally annoying!

PPS: After my leap into the unknown failed miserably, I really needed some comfort food. And nothing screams comfort like a pot full of noodles in a creamy coconut curry sauce. Add to that some spice from the chili, some zing from the lime and some crunch from the vegetables and I was –again!- completely worry-free! Ready to go on yet another adventure!

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Sweet coconut curry noodles with shrimps

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 250gr udon noodles
  • 40 shrimps
  • 2 granny smith apples
  • Mix of vegetables (I used ½ green pepper, ½ red pepper, 1 leek, handful of beansprouts and ½ courgette. All finely sliced in thin strips.)
  • 500ml coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp turmeric
  • 3cm piece of fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red chili, finely sliced
  • Fresh coriander
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp garam massala
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • Lime

Method:

  1. Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet.
  2. Using a blender, mix together the onion, garlic, ginger, one granny smith apple, the chili pepper and all the spices until you get a smooth paste. (The apple in the curry paste will gave the sauce a lovely sweet and sour kick)
  3. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok and fry the fragrant paste for a couple of minutes. Add the coconut milk and fish sauce and let it simmer for 10 minutes to intensify the flavours.
  4. Add the vegetables, shrimps  and the other apple (finely sliced) and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in the cooked noodles and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
  6. Sprinkle on some freshly chopped coriander and finish with a good splash of lime juice.

My imaginary dream date with Leonardo DiCaprio

Published August 29, 2013 by The Feminist

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The doorbell rang. It was ten o’clock in the evening and I was watching Suits on TV with a tub of Ben&Jerry’s Peanut-Butter-Me-Up ice-cream in my lap. Normally I don’t like it when people bother me while I’m watching Suits, for I like to be left alone when I’m gawking at Harvey Specter’s marvelous behind. For some reason, which I would later come to understand is called “destiny”, I did manage to get up from the couch and walk my way to the door wearing nothing but a pair of fluffy pink socks and a XXL “Future Mrs. Styles” One Direction t-shirt.

“A delivery for Ms. Versluys,” A middle-aged man in a red velvet suit was standing on my doorstep with in his one hand a tiny little box and in his other what appeared to be a letter in a golden envelope. “Do you have any idea how late it is?”, I grunted bitterly, “Since when do you guys deliver so late at night?” The man was taken aback by my rather rude response and obviously had no idea it wasn’t a very good idea to interrupt a girl while she was watching Suits. “I’m sorry, Miss. We didn’t mean to interrupt your…” he looked at my t-shirt and I suddenly felt really self-conscious about standing in the doorway with Harry Styles’ face on my chest “…me-time,” he finally added. “My boss doesn’t really care about the nine-to-five rule.” Before I had any time to ask the man who his boss was, he had already pushed the envelope and box in my hands and made his way back to his car, a Toyota Prius with tinted windows.

I went back inside and opened the seal of the golden envelope, revealing a handwritten letter:

‘Dear Eveline,

“To get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.” ~Mark Twain.
In this spirit, I’m inviting you to join me on my trip to the ruins of Pompeii this weekend.

I will pick you up on Saturday morning at 6 o’clock so we can be there by nightfall.

Your Admirer,

Leonardo DiCaprio

PS: Please accept these earrings as a token of my affection and a promise of what is yet to come. The rest of the outfit will arrive tomorrow.’

I was gobsmacked. If this is one of my brother’s silly pranks, I’m going to kill him. I looked at the box beside me and opened it with shaky hands. There it was, the most beautiful looking pair of earrings I had ever seen. Obviously diamonds. Obviously ridiculously expensive.

I had no idea what to make of all this: the letter, the earrings, the creepy man in the red velvet suit. And who for God’s sake just travels to the ruins of Pompeii on a weekend? Normal people would go to a museum to see antiquities, not travel hundreds of miles with a girl you’ve never met.

But then again, Leonardo DiCaprio probably didn’t do normal. He’s Leonardo DiCaprio.

The next morning, I woke up early, made myself a large cup of coffee and camped in front of the front door, waiting for the middle-aged man in the red velvet suit to reappear. At 9 o’clock sharp the doorbell rang again. I quickly opened the door and saw the same man that stood on my doorstep last night. For some reason he looked less creepy in broad daylight; more Santa Claus, less midnight rapist. He was holding a large cardboard box with a red ribbon around it and looked at me with a big frown on his face. Fuck, I’m still wearing my Harry Styles t-shirt! That is so not how I want Leo to remember me. (I thought I was allowed to call him Leo. I was going on a date with him after all).
I quickly accepted the box and went inside. In one swift movement I opened up the box as my heart beat wildly with excitement… It was The Chandelier Dress, worn by none other than Carry Mulligan in The Great Gatsby. The crystal-coated fabric was simply drool-worthy and must have been worth millions of dollars. Don’t spill your damn coffee. I put my coffee mug on the counter, took off my Harry Styles t-shirt, all the while swearing to never ever wear that again, and very carefully stepped into the dress. I felt like I was the image of glamour personified. I’m going on a date with Leonardo DiCaprio. In the chandelier dress. I have got to be the luckiest girl on the planet.

***
My heart started beating quicker as the clock neared 6 a.m. The doorbell rang. I’m starting to grow fond of that sound. As I swung open the door, Leo was already leaning against the side of his car, the same Toyota Prius from a couple of days ago. He was smoking a battery-powered cigarette and was wearing a delicate cashmere sweater and a smart-looking pair of stone cotton trousers. His pure Hollywood glamour made me catch my breath and the intensity of his expression as we shook hands- his skin soft but his grip strong- made my blood run fast. “Eveline,” he said with a husky voice, “you look absolutely breathtaking in that dress. Much better than that One Direction t-shirt,” his smile bright and genuine. “You saw that?” I exclaimed in utter shock and embarrassment. “Yes, I was sitting in the back of the car when my driver delivered the envelope” he explained matter-of-factly. I blushed. Damn those tinted windows.

Although the drive to Pompeii took hours, time seemed to be flying by. He sat next to me in the back of the Prius, one leg slung over the other, while our good friend in the red velvet suit drove us to the ruins. We talked about our hearts’ desires with an ease as if we had known each other for years. That is to say, I talked about my heart’s desires, he talked about global warming, gay rights, how to stop ivory poachers and how to save the Siberian tiger. It was a joy listening to him passionately raving about the things that were important to him – God, environmentalists are sexy– but I admittedly found it rather hard to focus on the gravitas of his words when he was staring at me with those strikingly beautiful eyes and dark, mischievous eyebrows.
It suddenly dawned on me that I still hadn’t asked about the elephant in the room- or better: the elephant in the Toyota Prius- and gently inquired as to why we were going to the ruins of Pompeii. “ It’s the ultimate unfiltered world, untouched by the hands of media and fame. Pompeii is my way of escaping Hollywoodian reality. It reminds me that all of us are just grains of sand in the desert of eternity. Nothing lasts forever. Everything eventually crumbles down. Even Hollywood fame.”
Swoon. Could he possibly be more perfect?

Apparently he could, because when we arrived at the ruins of Pompeii – night had already fallen and the sky was dotted with stars- he revealed a giant picnic basket from the trunk. “I hope you’re up for a picnic?” He smiled and winked at me. I giggled, which wasn’t a very grown-up thing to do but I just couldn’t help myself. He took my hand as we walked across the ancient Roman city and he came to a halt in the middle of the Amphitheatre. He pulled a soft, checkered blanket out of the picnic basket and laid it across the ground. We both took of our shoes- thank God I had just had a pedicure– and we snuggled up against each other as we looked up to the stars; the lights reflecting against the crystals of my dress, making me look like Tinker Bell from Peter Pan. While I was admiring my luminous outfit, Leo opened up a bottle of organic champagne. “Friends of mine own an organic vineyard in France. They truly make the best wine.” Of course they do. They are friends with Leonardo DiCaprio.

It was indeed delicious champagne, although everything would have tasted great in such fine company. He had also brought an entire box of Turkish delight, “because I know you have a sweet tooth.” They were sticky and sweet, just how I like them and while I was licking my fingers I was suddenly overcome with emotions. I was on a date with Leonardo DiCaprio. For real. How did that happen?

“Why me?”, I asked with a far too high-pitched voice, my nerves clearly audible. I cleared my throat and started over: “Why did you ask me to go on a date with you?” For what seemed to be minutes, but in fact were probably just a couple of nanoseconds, there was silence. A fine smile appeared across his lips as he leaned forward and whispered in my ear: “Because I love your blog.” My face went totally red. “You read my blog?” I said in complete astonishment. I was definitely not expecting that answer .He lay his one hand on my knee and lifted my chin up to meet his face with the other. “Only when you write about me”, he replied. I giggled. I really need to stop doing that.

For hours we lay in each others’ arms, looking at the stars, not saying a word. A silence that was both comforting and intriguing at the same time. When the sun appeared across the horizon a couple of hours later, Leo lifted me up in his arms and carried me all the way back to the car, where the red velvet suit had been watching James Bond movies on his laptop. Leo gently lowered me into the back of the car and he looked me in the eyes, his eyes so close to mine I was practically swimming in their immeasurable blueness. It felt as if I was floating, floating between dream and reality. Floating with the fear of falling, but with the promise to fly…

***
“Hold on! Are you telling me you went on a date with Leonardo DiCaprio and you didn’t as much as kiss?” That’s what you are all thinking right now, isn’t it? Where is the sex?

Well, if you really need to know… we had wild and crazy sex in the back of his Prius when the red velvet suit was having breakfast in a Diner on our way back to my apartment.

There. Satisfied?

The End.

Notes from the author:
• This story is purely fictional and should not be considered real. Everything is based on nothing but my frighteningly extravagant imagination and on some previously published interviews with, and well-known facts about Leonardo DiCaprio)
• In reality it would probably take much longer to drive from my apartment in Belgium to the ruins of Pompeii in Italy. Unless the red velvet suit drove excessively fast…
• I do not- I repeat- I DO NOT own a Harry Styles One Direction t-shirt in real life.

Shop till you drop: The shopaholic in me is alive and kickin’

Published April 8, 2013 by The Feminist
Shop till you drop: The shopaholic in me is alive and kickin’

I love fashion all year round. Every second of every hour of every day. There are moments, however, when my inner fashion diva goes in absolute fashion overdrive. When a very cool trend hits the runways or even when I just see a very awesome outfit online, I simply can’t stop thinking about it. I literally have dreams about it. Dreams of me wearing said awesome outfit and totally rocking it. This continuous “daydreaming” (a very euphemistic term for the scarier word “hallucination” 😉 ) will not stop until I have that outfit hanging in my closet.

I am currently going through such a fashion frenzy and the leading role in my very own Hollywood fashion movie daydream (besides a very stylish me) is the outfit above from River Island. I want it so bad, I get heart palpitations merely thinking of it.

I am a huge River Island fan. Sometimes I think this shop was created with the sole purpose of providing me with clothes.  However, there are two tiny little issues:

a)      What if my local River Island shop doesn’t have the outfit? :

 I saw the clothes on the River Island website, so there is no absolute guarantee that I will actually find them in the River Island store in Antwerp. More importantly, they have to have my size! I can hear you all thinking: “ Just order them online, you idiot!”

Good point. But I prefer trying clothes on first, before buying them. (Oh God, I sound like my mother!)

b)      What if the clothes don’t fit and I look nothing like the cool chick I had in mind?

No matter how hard you may want a certain outfit, sometimes when you put it on, it just SUCKS!

So this is where you come in, dear readers! I want you all to knock on wood/ cross your fingers/ light a candle/ pray that the very cool outfit will end up in my closet! Maybe we could all do a cyber- telekinesis-séance kinda thing?  Who’s with me?! 😉

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Ps: The shoes and necklace are not from River Island. It was just to give you an idea of what I would wear it with.

Shop till you drop: The shopaholic in me is alive and kickin’ van evelineversluys met platform heels
River Island crop top, $24 / River Island crop top, $24 / River Island printed pants, $46 / Giuseppe Zanotti platform heels / Topshop

Am I dreaming or am I awake: It’s a Maple & Walnut Streusel cake

Published March 10, 2013 by The Feminist

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For the baking nitwits among you: a streusel is a crumblike topping consisting of flour, sugar, butter, cinnamon and sometimes-like this one- chopped nuts.

It is truly a dream come true! The streusel is crunchy, buttery and full of flavour and the sweet cinnamon swirl gives the cake a beautiful marble effect. The texture of the streusel works incredibly well with the light and too-easy-to-eat cake. Thanks to the addition of soured cream, the sponge was gorgeously moist and rich. Light and rich at the same time? How could that ever be possible?

Just bake it! You’ll see what I mean! 😉 I know that the cake may look terrifyingly difficult to some of you, but it was actually pretty easy to make. Or to quote Paul Coelho: “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

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Maple & Walnut Streusel Cake

Ingredients:

For the Streusel:
• 50gr moscovado sugar
• 80gr plain flour
• 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• 45gr unsalted butter
• 80gr chopped walnuts, plus extra to decorate

For the sponge:
• 115gr unsalted butter
• 170gr caster sugar
• 2 eggs
• 200gr soured cream
• 280gr plain flour
• 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
• Pinch of salt
• 75ml maple syrup, to drizzle

For the glaze:
• 50gr icing sugar
• 2 tbsp maple syrup
• 1 tbsp water

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 170° en grease a Bundt cake tin with butter.
2. To make the streusel, place the flour, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Add the butter and rub the mixture together using your fingertips until it forms a crumble. Add the chopped walnuts. Set aside.
3. Cream together the butter and sugar for the sponge until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix well. Add the soured cream.
4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the batter.
5. Sprinkle half the streusel mixture into the base of the tin and top with half of the cake batter. Sprinkle the remaining streusel mix on top and then top with the remaining batter.
6. Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes. Take out of the oven and while the cake is still warm, drizzle over the maple syrup. Allow the cake to cool in the tin.
7. Make the glaze by mixing the icing sugar, maple syrup and water together. You should get a smooth and runny glaze.
8. Turn the cooled cake out into a rack, so that it is streusel-side up. Drizzle the top of the cake with the glaze and sprinkle over some chopped walnuts.
9. Remember: Dreams do come true as long as you believe!

When the rum is never gone: Caribbean baking

Published December 16, 2012 by The Feminist

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Jack Sparrow would have loved this one! Caramelized bananas, crisp puff pastry and a good dash of rum turned this dead easy tart into a true Caribbean delight. Not only was it ridiculously easy and quick to make (ANYONE can do it!), but it also transports your taste buds to sunnier and more exotic places.

It may be raining outside, but with the help of this tart, these bloody raindrops will turn into bright blue oceans. Mark my words, this afternoon I will be lying on the beach, drinking rum with Jack Sparrow and singing “Yo ho ,yo ho , a pirate’s life for me!” Because, with the right amount of imagination and a good slice of homemade deliciousness, anything is possible!