Posts tagged ‘Sustainable’

January 24, 2012

De Huiselijkheid – unique and sustainable furniture & more

Do you remember I explained you the meaning of the Dutch word Gezelligheid? (HERE my explanatory post if you just “tuned in”)

I came across a really cool webshop with a beautiful philosophy; De Huiselijkheid. Huiselijkheid can (almost) be translated as “homey-ness”. The word looks like gezelligheid and can also not exactly be translated. It refers to a “gezellige domestic situation”.

De Huiselijkheid is a webshop with original and unique furniture and other eye catchers for in and around your home. Monique, Dick and Irma of De Huiselijkheid search, find and fix furniture that deserve a second life. All items they sell are besides old and beautiful, functional too and everything is restored with ecologically sustainable paint. From barok and chic to industrial and sturdy – they’ve got it all. Are you looking for something particular and you can’t find it on the market? Do you need to rent furniture for e.g. photo- or movie-productions? Do you want something designed especially for you? Do you need help restoring old furnitures? Redesigning your interior? Are you interested in doing a workshop regarding (fixing) furnitures? Contact de Huiselijkheid.

You can order directly from the webshop (if you live in The Netherlands), and against a delivery fee (Contact de Huiselijkheid for prices and possibilities), your ordered items can even be delivered to your house. 

The 3 previously mentioned founders of De Huiselijkheid feel privileged to be entrepreneurial, here for they reserve time and means to to take their responsibility to society; this year they support the Reumafonds (Rheuma foundation) in The Netherlands, a foundation that aims to help people to have a better life with rheuma, because they know what the effect of this disease can be.

De Huiselijkheid

De Huiselijkheid


The showroom of De Huiselijkheid is located in  Vijfhuizen in the county of Haarlemmermeer, about 20 kilometers of Amsterdam.

http://www.dehuiselijkheid.nl , contact@dehuiselijkheid.nl

http://www.reumafonds.nl

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November 21, 2011

Conscious colouring; natural and plant based hair colouring

I’ve always loved experimenting with different hair- styles and colours, but for a couple of years I’ve stuck to my own colour, ‘cause I had my doubts about the standard chemical ways of colouring. I recently met Dianne te Mebel, director and owner of the Instituut Haar & Gezondheid (Institute for Hair & Health) in Amsterdam. The Instituut Haar & Gezondheid is one of few salons in Amsterdam and even The Netherlands, which aims to use as much natural products as possible and integrate this in anything they do. Ever since Diane was young, she has a passion for nature, which she decided to incorporate into her profession. She developed herself as an expert in natural and plant based hair colouring.

I’ve always thought that to colour my dark hair,  the only way was de- colouring with ammoniac and then dying with chemical colours. Dianne dared me to test otherwise. She said that not only she could naturally add a hint of colour to my hair, but also promised to revitalise and regenerate my hair, to give it a “healing” treatment to prepare myself for winter. Perhaps, just like me, you don’t know too much about natural and plant based hair colouring? The ladies of the Instituut Haar & Gezondheid, definitely know their field of work and took their time to make me feel comfortable and inform me about anything I was interested in and more.

So.. well.. then what is natural and plant based hair colouring exactly?

The base is henna. Henna is a plant (a shrub actually, called Lawsonia Inermis, more info HERE ), with leaves that contain a tannin dye molecule. This molecule is called Lawson, and  is released when the leaves are pulverised, acidified and made into a paste. This paste can be applied to hair (or skin), to give it a deep, reddish brown stain, because it binds to keratin (that’s what the outer layer of our skin and hair is made of). The colours added to the henna, are extracted from parts of amongst others flowers, trees, and plants that are dried and pulvarised until powder. For example coffee, onion peel, blue wood, cinnamon, hazelnut, rhubarb, salvia, tea, marigold, grains, elderberries and birch bark  are commonly used. Before the colouring- process, the hair is first washed with a mild shampoo to open the hair scales (yes, just like the ones a fish has..), so the pigment can go in between. In my case the hair was washed with a shampoo of Pure Pact (Over HERE you can read my introduction to Pure Pact). When the hair is dried, the hair scales close and keep the pigment inside. The colour will stay in the hair for about 6 to 8 weeks. By washing the colouring, it will slowly get more vague, here for there  will not be any visible outgrow like with chemical hair colouring. Natural hair colouring does not change the colour of your hair, so being a brunette and becoming a blonde, is not possible (but if your hair is grey, you can become a blonde again with the help of marigold!). If you have some grey hairs, as effect of the colouring you’ll get highlights instead. Plant based hair colouring is transparent, it forms a layer around the hair instead of penetrating it. You will keep your own hair colour with a nuance in the colour. From solely natural resources, 40 nuances are possible. By repeating the process of colouring regularly, the colour will become deeper and more intense.

Dianne loves nature and the environment. While working in her hair salon, she realised that even if she was using natural products, in the process of colouring the hair was being packed with tin foil, which was trashed after use. It’s necessary to keep the hair warm after one applies the colouring, so it attaches better to the hair. This caused Dianne to think about a more sustainable way for this process, after which she invented and developed the sustainable heat cap for colouring. With this cap she got nominated for Duurzame Dinsdag 2011, where the countries’ best sustainable ideas are put in a suitcase and offered to the cabinet in order to create more awareness.

All over the world there are millions of women that colour their hair. Many of them do this themselves, at home. Natural and plant based hair colouring is completely safe and simple when you have the right ingredients and tools, so Dianne did a lot of research, imported products and developed a starting package to make it possible for you to create your own natural hair colouring and dye your hair in the comfort of your own home. The package comes in 15 different nuances, but you can also get in touch with her to create a colour combination of your choice, or pass by the Instituut Haar & Gezondheid to get advised, ask questions and pick up a personalised package. Over HERE you can order the package.  A starting package costs € 47.50,– (exclusive €2.30,– for delivery in The Netherlands) and consists of; a bag of colouring, a sustainable heat cap, and enamel bowl, a wide paintbrush, a twine of cotton wool and a manual. The package fits through your mailbox.

Check out a small introduction & explanation clip over here; 

When I visited the salon, the ladies made me a personalised mix of auburn, mahogany and henna colore. The nuances in my hair are mostly visible outside in daylight. Indoors, besides the exception of a very attentive individual, it’s only myself who notices the colour difference. BUT, even after having seriously neglected my split ends, a summer of sea and sun, living in a city with plenty of exhausts, as well as having often coloured my hair chemically in the past, my hair is obviously revitalised. It’s voluminous, it’s shiny, it feels soft and it looks healthy. I LOVE IT!  I’m already looking forward to my next treatment and curious to how my hair will be when the colouring gets more intense and deeper!

Have you ever coloured your hair? Are you conscious about what hair and beauty products you use? Are you aware that natural products are better for you than chemical based products?

Starting package natural hair colouring

Starting package natural hair colouring

Thx 2 Wiki.
For more info, personalised advise or to order the starting package; CLICK HERE
Questions on natural and plant based hair colouring? Ask them to experts on a specialised forum; HERE 
VERY SOON the brand new webshop of Instituut Haar en Gezondheid will be online, I’ll keep you updated of course. ‘Till then; http://www.instituuthaarengezondheid.nl

November 10, 2011

The Netherlands’ most pure restaurant; Natuurlijk.

Lisette Kreischer (Check HERE my previous article about her ), organised and thus invited me to the election of the The Puur Restaurant Week (Pure Restaurant Week), which took place yesterday in Restaurant Proef in the Westerpark in Amsterdam. The election took place for the 3rd time and there are 324 participating restaurants. Proef has been founded 7 years ago by Marije Vogelzang and Piet Hekker in Rotterdam (he’s also founder of the Bakkerswinkel, which is just like Proef situated in the park). They moved to Amsterdam in 2006 and since last month Marije focuses on her work as a designer and Piet is running the restaurant on his own now. The restaurant looks industrial, cool and yet warm like a homey livingroom.

The audience was a mix of amongst other restaurant-owners, culinary journalists, biological ingredient suppliers, sponsors, bloggers and writers and other foodies. At 15.00h the guests received a welcome drink. Rabarbarella is a cocktail which reminded me of a smoothie, it had a beautiful texture and a very girlish-pretty-pink-colour, consisting of rhubarb, banana and  a hint of… vodka. The meeting started with an introduction by Jeannette van Mullem, the initiator of the Puur Restaurant Week, with a welcome-word and an explanation of the Puur Restaurant Week. All participating restaurants offer a 3 course honest, fair and pure menu. The Ambassador of this one-week-lasting event; cook and tv- maker Ramon Beuk, was unfortunately not present, but we were shown a short movie he made to promote the week, check below (in Dutch);

Jeannette told us; “I hope the culinary journalists present, will spread the word about the Puur Restaurant Week. Everyone should know about this election and about the Pure Week and about how honest and pure the nominated pure restaurants are. While showing a Powerpoint presentation, she informed the audience more in-debt about the the Puur Restaurant Week and also pictures were shown of the dishes the jury-members had tasted. These dishes will be the same dishes you can eat when you visit and choose the pure menu! The participating restaurants were assessed by questionnaires filled in by guests and the goals was to pick out the 5 best, but the jury had such a tough job they decided to make it 6. All the conditions of the Puur Restaurant Week had to be taken into account; biological ingredients, fair-trade food and sustainably caught fish; also the menus  were evaluated on flavour, quality and presentation of the dish. The jury consisted of Jeannette van Mullem, Jeroen Thijssen, culinary journalist of Dutch newspaper Trouw, the Chief editor of Misset Horeca; Martine Zuil, Chief editor of Dutch foodie magazine Delicious; Makkie Mulder and of course the ambassador of the week; Ramon Beuk. During the event we were offered fairtrade, organic and sustainably prepared drinks and snacks. I tested a banana-beer… very interesting but perhaps more suitable for a tropical beach than a fall day in Amsterdam.

The nominees were;

  • Aangenaam in Haarlem. The jury was impressed by a quinoa salad.  Aangenaam is the Dutch word for agreeable, pleasant, pleasing and the jury said that that’s exactly what their dinner in this place was.
  • De Culinaire Werkplaats from Amsterdam (The Culinary Workplace; See my previous article about De Culinaire Werkplaats HERE). Eric Meurs and Marjolijn Wintjes were the only restaurant-owners who could unfortunately not attend this event. De Culinaire Werkplaats is a restaurant where you experience food, where you learn about food, where food and art are one.
  • Fifteen in  Amsterdam prepared a bruschetta with tomatoe, olive oil and basilicum. This place, founded by Sarriel Taus, cooks tasty, is sociable and sustainable according to the judges.
  • In Merkelbach in Amsterdam, Jeanette herself was the lucky jury-member to have dinner and she tried seabass, puree of parsnip, “oerwortel”  (which is translated as prehistoric carrot, but I have no idea if that is also the English name) and pancetta. She said this place has an elegant way of cooking.
  • Natuurlijk in Egmond presented a loin beef carpaccio with old cheese, pineseeds and applesirup. The judge (Dutch newspaper Trouw culinairy journalist Jeroen Thijssen) described this place as Ridder in de orde van duurzaamheid  (In English this would be translated as “Knight in the order of Sustainability”, derived from The Order of Orange-Nassau, in Dutch: Orde van Oranje-Nassau, which is a military and civil order of The Netherlands, created on April 4 1892 by the Queen regent Emma of The Netherlands, acting on behalf of her under-age daughter Queen Wilhelmina.
  • De Veldkeuken (The Fieldkitchen) in Culemborg, presented their assigned judge with bread with seeds, goat-cheese, walnuts and honey. The judgement was that the restaurant is very special on a very special spot.  A pearl in Culemborg, situated next to the river the Lek.

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The winner was Natuurlijk in Egmond aan Zee. Natuurlijk means natural or of course. Natuurlijk took the concepts of sustainable, fair trade and biological and presented them in an approachable way. They stimulate sustainability in every way and are very accesible. The winners Niels en Mirjam Gouda,who opened their restaurant only 7 months ago, and the other nominees, received awards and of course great fame and publicity. The owner of winning Natuurlijk mentioned her restaurant is only open for 7 months. I saw on their website that on top of the food the offer some extra’s I’m definitely interested in! As a goodbye we received a pure bonbon made by Van chocolade. On their website I see they make chocolates from amongst others salvia, wasabi and even gorgonzola. Wow. I’ll definitely keep you updated about my opinion on those!

What do you think of the Puur Restaurant Week? Would you go? Did you try any of these restaurants? What was your experience?

More info;
Lisette Kreischer has got a new website and it’s gorgeous; http://www.lisettekreischer.com
All about & to make reservations Puur Restaurant Week http://www.puurrestaurantweek.nl
Restaurant Natuurlijk in Egmond aan Zee http://www.natuurlijk-egmond.nl
Restaurant Proef in Amsterdam http://www.proefamsterdam.nl
Restaurant Aangenaam in Haarlem http://www.aangenaametenendrinken.nl
De Culinaire Werkplaats http://www.deculinairewerkplaats.nl
Fifteen Amsterdam http://www.fifteen.nl
Restaurant Merkelbach in Amsterdam http://www.restaurantmerkelbach.nl
Restaurant de Veldkeuken in Culemborg http://www.veldkeuken.nl
Van chocolade http://www.vanchocolade.nl