maandag 27 juni 2016

maandag 20 juni 2016


It's Monday morning. My work out is done, the girls are off to school and I have the house to myself. HURRAYYYY!!!! Hehehe, I do have the whole house but I'm hanging out in the bedroom as the AC was already on in here :)

I felt in the mood for a resistance band work out this morning so that's what I did. Nothing too crazy but a nice burn. Sue and Dave are in town and it has been great to catch up!

Hanging out with Molly, Sue and Dave
Yesterday morning I taught a new saxophone student. Le sigh.... Same old story: no emotion, not much sound and a vague blank expression on his face. The good news is that he doesn't have any major issues so we have an OK place to start from. It will probably take a few classes but I'm getting pretty good at instilling joy whilst making music into formerly drilled and most likely bored to death kids.

Our first official fair for dōTERRA
After another class I headed to the Crowne Plaza hotel to participate in a health and wellness fair. Sarah and I "manned" our booth and Cillia from Shanghai came over to support us.

Getting my yoga on during the fair
Our neighbors were yogi's so I had a chance to get some sun salutations in! We presented a DIY (Do It Yourself) with the essential oils and people were very interested. After the fair I felt really tired as it was super hot out.

A little creation
Lexie and Izzie are doing great. Growing like weeds and all of that, haha. Haiwen is back from his business trip and grandma enjoyed her cruise. All good in this part of the world!

zaterdag 11 juni 2016

What a Saturday!

Today was a good day :)

With Lili our piano teacher and also co-owner of Meet Art
I started teaching at 9.15 and had a pretty good class with Joy. She's only 5 years old so coming up with new games to play can be a bit difficult. At 10.00 it was saxophone time with Gigi and she was very well concentrated today, hahaha! I was even more goofy than her ;)
Being artsy in my flip flops :)

After Gigi's class I stopped by Meet Art to see how they were doing with their opening prep. Everything looked good so I snapped some pics to post on WeChat.

I love tiles and I love flip flops
I went home to play with Izzie and waited for Lexie to come back from art class. We had a quick lunch and my next class was with Sophie on piano. The student after her cancelled so I went to Meet Art to join the opening party for a while.

Opening signatures wall 
I couldn't stay too long as Justin was coming for a class at 3PM. I had put the diffuser on and he was very happy with that. "Mmmmmm, I really needed this. The air during our exams was terrible, I really could have used one of these."

Justin really likes Wild Orange with Peppermint

We worked hard and had fun so that was good! The last class today with piano again with RuiSi. She is slowly forgetting all her Chinese drilled bad habits and comes up with beautiful notes now. Sometimes harshly interrupted by not so beautiful ones, but hey, gotta start somewhere, right?

Tante Lieke with her new essential oils key chain!
After his class I stopped by at Meet Art and I made a few fake pics of me arranging flowers. Well, the pics were real but the arranging was fake, haha. I can see Meet Art from our reception so that's how close by it is. I wish them loads of success because it is great to have a coffee/art place right next to your own school!

:) :)
Yesterday we had a dōTERRA event at my house. It was very nice and we did body scrub DIY. It was really easy and a lot of fun. There even was a 6 weeks old baby present!

:) :) 
Tomorrow Haiwen and grandma are leaving Guangzhou until Friday, leaving me and grandpa in charge. Haiwen is off on a business trip and grandma is going on a cruise with lots of friends.
Lexie will be going to kindergarten but Izzie's class has been stopped because too many kids were sick.
Izzie was already home with growth spurt fever so luckily she didn't catch any of the contagious stuff. Now I just need to come up with a plan what to do all week with Izzie. I'm thinking loads of chilling out and going to see friends :)

woensdag 8 juni 2016

A scratch card?

First the good news: Izzie's fever is gone!! We are still chilling out at home this morning as she hasn't been fever free for long enough to go back to kindergarten. She's in a very good mood so it's a joy to have her here. OK, I did enjoy all the snuggles when she was feeling bad, but I way prefer her this way :) 
Izzie was having a growth spurt on Monday
Lexie and her will have a few days off starting tomorrow for Dragon Boat Festival. Friday will be free but according to the Chinese system this is not a "real" free day so on Sunday they will go to school to make up for it (and most people will go to work). This way people can enjoy 3 free days in a row and take a small trip. On Friday morning I'll have an essential oil class at my house. We didn't realize it would be a holiday at first so there will be many kids as well ;) 

This week Facebook came up with this pic on the left from 3 years ago. I was about 7 months pregnant with Izzie (she was born on July 24th). I got even bigger the last 2 months.... 
I guess it also has to do with me not being the tallest person in the world, so the only way to go is outwards ;)

Last week I attended the GWIC morning coffee and one of the girls asked me if I wanted to be added to the WWAM group. Say what?! WWAM stands for "Western Women, Asian Men". OK, why not?
There are many awesome ladies in this group and it is great to be in there. I connected to a few ladies personally and also created a Facebook group for us, as Wechat has its limitations.

Judith from asked me if she could interview me. Haha, you know me; interview away :) We have planned a phone call for tomorrow as she lives in Wuhan. I checked out and wanted to be part of it as well! My first blog (in Dutch) will appear by the end of this month.

I made this scratch card last night. It was surprisingly relaxing! It felt good to scrape off the black and see the picture come to life (the original is by Miró). 
How about that for a life lesson? Just scrape off the soot, negative thoughts, heaviness and blackness to see the colors of you come to life! 
Also included some info on Melaleuca (aka Tea Tree). It's one of my favorites.

I've been creating all kinds of collages lately to present essential oils information in a fun way. I enjoy the creative process a lot. I guess it carries over straight from my work out and kids collages ;)
One of the things I like to do is to combine the possibilities of different apps together.

In this one a used the Numbers program on Mac, combined with another app (I forgot which one exactly....) to add a soft frame around it. I took the pic with the diffuser and my clarinet and the mom of this student took this pic of us having class. I love to put so many different elements together!

vrijdag 3 juni 2016

What's the deal with Essential Oils?

Here is my story that I wrote for the Guangzhou Women's International Club

The term “essential oil” is a contraction of the original “quintessential oil.”
Quint means five, just like in music where a fifth is also called a quint to name the distance between for example C and G.
Aristotle stated that matter is composed of four elements: fire, air, earth, and water. The fifth element, or quintessence, is spirit or life force.

Through distillation and evaporation the spirit is removed from the plant and captured in a fragrant essential oil (let’s go with EO from now on). Language nowadays shows us that “spirits” are distilled alcoholic beverages from plant derivatives (eau de vie, anyone?).
Science has advanced greatly since Aristotle’s days so we now know that EO consist of a complicated mixture of beneficial chemicals.

Why do I say “beneficial” chemicals? Well, there are chemicals out there that heal our body but unfortunately also chemicals that harm our body (toxins). In this next paragraph my friend talks about her experience with allergens and chemicals:

"I am a 38 year old woman that has lived in Guangzhou for many years. My whole life I have never been allergic to anything that I know of. Last year I became aware that I was allergic to dust mites that are found especially during the wet season of this city especially in our beds. Next I recently had a scare when my throat closed after accidentally inhaling industrial strength glue. Most recently I have had an itchiness on my skin and tingly nose sensation whenever exposed to harsh cleaning products at my school. I found out the main chemical component used on the floors and surfaces has an extremely toxic odour. This got me researching the dangers of cleaners and detergents that we use in our everyday lives. I found out that the inside of an average home has more toxic pollution than a polluted city. That scientists know that these cleaning products etc... are causing a lot of the ailments and bigger health issues we have nowadays. EO have been around for centuries and these poisonous products we use have only been around a short time. I am sure that restaurants, hotels, hospitals use them to assure a high standard of sanitation.Then I thought that I have control over my  own environment and can protect my child, husband and dogs from any unnatural cleaning agents in our home. That is the start of my relationship with EO."

EO can be used in a myriad of ways:

EO are very powerful disinfectants. Lemon oil can be used to clean your whole house. It has no toxins and it smells delicious. You can put a drop on a cloth to wipe down surfaces or dilute it with water to spray it in your bathroom. Adding some EO on a cotton ball and putting it in your vacuum cleaner makes your house smell lovely.

EO are great for cooking as they make your food healing instead of “just” healthy. I really love it!
Oregano, cinnamon, peppermint….. the list go on. Because the oils are so concentrated you get much more benefits from them compared to normal spices (healthy to healing!). The oil blend Slim and Sassy promotes a healthy metabolism, making it easier to loose a few unwanted pounds.

Beauty Care
This is a big one too as we are living in a country where most moisturizers are laced with toxic whiteners.
Skin is our biggest organ and it absorbs a great deal of what we put on it.
Lavender is a calming oil that will take care of small spots. I’ve used on my C-section scar and it healed up beautifully (strange thing to say about a scar perhaps but it’s true!). Frankincense has many benefits for skin as well. 

Emotional Support
Diffusing oils in your home is very beneficial as they clean the air and take care of contaminants in the process. There are so many recipes out there that you can try! I like to use bergamot with orange and peppermint. During flu season I diffused an oil blend called “On Guard” every day.
At the end of a though day (or whenever you feel like it) you can take a nurturing bath. Since the EO are easily absorbed by the skin a bath is a great way to reap the benefits. My favorite so far is bath salts with lavender and Ylang Ylang. Relax mode: on!

That’s it for now. I’ll be back with some practical uses in the next Gazette :)

Hurray, a blog!!!

Many greetings from this Friday morning in Guangzhou. It is super hot and humid outside so I figured it is a great time to sit down and write a blog for you :) with the AC on, of course!

Izzie :)
These last few weeks have been very busy, but in a good way. I've proctoring, subbing, teaching and dōTERRAing. I've also attended a modern dance performance, played concerts myself and heard a modern music recital at XingHai conservatory. Oh yeah, I also attended a modern art exhibition so I'm feeling very cultured indeed ;)

Last Sunday was nearly a full day off for me as I only had one student in the morning. His name is Tony (Chinese name: YanCheng) and he's so cute! He's also smart as a whip so teaching him is a joy. I also have a girl named Joy on piano so that's nice too. Haiwen came to pick me up at our music school and we went to the Hilton for lunch and a very well deserved pre-lunch cocktail for me. It was delicious and the rest of the day was zen and family time. Haiwen and I played tennis at 6 which was nice since the sun was almost down. No burning off the court there!

Speaking about burning..... The temps have shot up this week and my body was a bit in shock. I decided to take a few days off exercising as my energy was needed to adjust to the heat. This morning I went back at it with a 15 min HIIT session.

These planks are killer!

Byebye mommy tummy
Except for this little break I've been pretty much consistent. I'm a very random person so my work outs need to reflect that. If not, I get super bored and I will stop. HIIT is great for me as it is action packed and changing every 50 sec or so (depending on your intervals). It is very nice to feel your body getting stronger!

Trying to be a grown up for the day..... No T-shirt, how strange!
In between all the madness we had a little getaway in Sanya for a few days. We rented 2 apartments because some friends of my inlaws also joined. It was nice to be with a big group. Mom in law is an amazing cook so she and a few of her friends took care of all the meals. Yummy!!!
I went for a work out most days and even got lost in a deserted resort.... A mad across a golf course followed and I made it back OK. On the day we got back I saw that one of my friends from Shenzhen posted pictures on WeChat. I thought to myself :"that balcony looks very familiar..... that pool too". Sure enough: they had the same 2 apartments we had!!!  

Performing at XingHai concert Hall
Teaching is going well and I really enjoy the variety of instruments and nationalities!

Piano class with Sophie

Action packed Saturday morning
My dōTERRA business is picking up nicely and the best thing is that there is a store in GZ now, hurray!! Last week there was a big opening event, followed by a seminar that Haiwen and me attended. The Shenzhen crew also came over so that was really nice. 

dōTERRA convention

Yay, the Guangzhou store is open!
That's the update for now. I'll be back soon!