Thursday, September 21, 2017


After a long time of not wearing a lot of jewelry on my wrists, I finally decided it was time for a watch. It's not like I didn't have any watches, as a matter of fact I own three more. But one of them is totally not my style, the other one is broken and the third has golden details. I prefer silver coloured jewelry because they suit my skin tone better as I'm a summer type. This means that I am a cool and light person. When you wear a certain colour it has to be in harmony with your complexion. I might do an article about that so you guys get a better understanding of what I mean with that. I am a cool person and silver is the best colour for people with cool skin tones. I wasn't looking for a watch at all, one day I walked into a store and ta-da! There it was waiting for me! I've worn it every day since then and wanted to share it with you.
I really love the nude strap because it is a versatile colour and easily to combine with all your other jewelry. As you can see I paired the watch with a few bracelets that have cold ánd warm tones. This is a fashion rule meant to be broken! It actually works really well because mixing two or more metals actually adds a little oomph and grunge to your look. It doesn't always have to be matchy-matchy. The fun lies in the unexpected. Okay enough with the clichés. What do you think of my new watch? And are you a watch person or do you check your phone if you want to see what time it is... I would love to hear from you!


Tuesday, September 19, 2017


I've finally found a lipstick that actually does what I want. Not secretly visiting my teeth but staying within the lip lines. Sadly, it all started with me finishing my favourite lipstick ever, L'oréal Colour Riche in "Julianne's Nude". Only to find out it was out of stock and worse: discontinued (told you it was a sad story :( ). So I had to find a new one because I love having a little bit of colour on my lips but nothing too bright and nothing too nude either. I tried many lip products in the same colour range and I'm happy to tell you I found a worthy successor. Have a look!
The Super Stay Matte Ink liquid lipstick by Maybelline New York is my new favourite lip product. The colour I'm wearing is number 10 Dreamer.
I accidentally forgot to take it off the other day and the next morning it was as if I'd just applied a fresh layer of lipstick. This one truly is a 24 hour beauty product. To me this shows that with this lipstick you don't have to worry about your make up running out or having to reapply after every sip or bite. I tested this today. Lunch, dinner... even ice cream! The colour holds up really well.
A close up of it's applicator brush. It works pretty good but I used my fingers to help blend out because the brush was a bit too large for my upper lip. You also don't need a lot of this product to cover your lips nicely. I found out the hard way as I put way too much product on my lips the first time. A little bit goes a long way. What I love about this light pink/peachy color is that it isn't anything that is too in your face. It is perfect for every day wear. This colour is basically my lips but better!

I have a few tips for you if you want your lips to look soft and youthful. The smoothest result you get from prepping your lips by softly "scrubbing'' away dead skin cells with an old tooth brush. After this apply a deeply moisturizing lip balm, I always go for some good ol' Vaseline. If you do this before bed time, you will have plump and healthy looking lips the following morning. And after applying your lipstick it will look perfect. Trust me ladies, just like a good blow-out for your hair, with lips it’s also all about the prep!

Friday, September 01, 2017


Who doesn't scroll through their insta once a day? Don't answer that. I know. We all do it. Some accounts we follow, be it travel, food, fashion, just seem to have their style ON POINT. And then you go to your own profile and think to yourself how can I make my feed look consistent and coordinated? These tips might help you in being successful on Instagram by cultivating your insta aesthetic. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. So how about a feed full of pictures that highlight each others best traits?

Choose your style
What is the look you're going for? Minimalistic? Colorful? Do you want to use a lot of bright colors in your insta feed? Then learn how to use both the brightness and saturation tool. Do you like to coordinate your photos to the four seasons? Go for a moody theme with appropriate color scheme in fall and find out which filters fit your style best. And stick with it. If you make sure all your uploads are somewhat consistent in style elements this helps tie the story together. No loose ends ;-).

Edit in the same way
Within the app of your choice experiment with all the available options. The best thing is to have a preset or sequence that you can apply to all your photos. Just open your phones notes and write down all the tools you use. Besides Instagram I use VSCOcam and sometimes Afterlight. On Pinterest you can find dozens of examples. Search for 'Instagram themes'. I personally like to have good quality photos, no grain, bright, no heavy colors. This is also something I keep in mind when choosing photos to upload. You don't have to post every photo you take so if it doesn't look nice, even after editing, just keep it offline on your phone.

Choose the same angles

Angles can have a lot more impact on the overall look of your feed then one would think. And I'm not talking about the 'same girl, different angle' type of photo. When taking food pictures for example, find an angle that works for you and use it time and time again. I like to shoot from the top straight down for a birds eye perspective. For your outfit photos, don't shoot just anywhere but pick 2-3 backgrounds in and around your house for you to stand in front of. If no one's around to take my photo I always fall back on the mirror selfie. Try it sometime! Do this for all your themes from tip 2 - tell a story, and you will see how much of a difference it makes to be consistent in the angle of your photo.

Tell a story

You need to ask yourself what it is you want to show on Instagram. You can upload everything you capture making your insta look cluttered or you can choose 5-8 themes. This can be anything you want such as outfit of the days, interior design, hair styles, pictures of your breakfast and your cat. You name it, it's your little place on insta. Not only will this help in creating a common thread, it also makes it easier for your future followers to know what they can expect if when they hit the blue follow button.

Plan your Instagram
It is quite contradictory to the name Instagram but it really works for me: schedule your feed with a tool. Always think about how one photo will look next to the other. Even better, think about how your last nine photos work together. This is the first thing a potential follower sees when he or she finds you. I use an app called UNUM which let's me upload 18 photos into the app. These photos I can mix and match to find the order in which I like to upload. It feels like you're making your own jigsaw and it's kinda fun. But most importantly, this allows you to look a few steps ahead and think about what and when you're going to post. Another thing I like to look at is my last and my third picture. Those are the photos my new upload will touch on the right side and below. If these photos already are quite detailed or busy, it will be more pleasing on the eye to upload a calmer photo. Are the last and third pictures of food? Then choose a non-food photo to upload next.

Archive your old photos
Maybe all of you know this already but I only found out recently this awesome new feature on Instagram. It allows you to hide photos you once uploaded by archiving them. This can come in handy if you want to conceal but don't want to delete a certain upload. For example old photos or photos that don't suit your current style. Simply go to the “...” menu on a photo, among other options such as edit and delete, you can find the option to archive the image. Your photos are now private and only for you to see. This action is reversible. Now you no longer have to delete your beloved memories from insta, simply hide them and magically make them reappear if you miss them.

These tips I personally use on a regular basis but sometimes I'm not worried about this at all and I just post, post, post. To me Instagram is a place where I can be creative and exhibit my art. It doesn't have to be perfect. I like it a lot when there are some quirky, original photos in someones feed. The last thing I want is for you to feel like there is a certain way in which we have to shape our feed. That is the beauty of it, you can do with it whatever you want :-). Happy 'gramming!

Friday, July 07, 2017


It's already been two weeks since my visit to Corfu. My second visit, I must add as I visited once before with my boyfriend in 2012. The great thing is though, that it felt as if I was on a totally different island because the hotel we stayed in was located on the opposite side of the island and the surroundings there looked totally different! Originally my mom and dad were planning on visiting me on Zakynthos but when my plans changed they rebooked their holiday and asked me to join them. Holiday to Greece? You don't need to ask me twice.
Obligatory mirror selfie upon arrival

Friday, May 26, 2017


About two hours ago I posted this announcement on Instagram:
My life is easy going most days. I am a positive person and I try to make every day count. Because of that my blog is mostly a joyful, pretty place. That is what I want it to be and I hope to spread happiness and inspire others to be more in the moment and carefree too 💛. But I value vulnerability too. That is why I've decided I need to tell you something.

As some of you may have already guessed... I am back home. I am no longer in Greece. It is a looong story. I'd much rather write about fun and exciting things but I want to share this part of my life too. Because I want to be honest and real. I won't go into much detail but things didn't work out for me. I am a firm believer of following your heart which is what I did when I bought a one way ticket back home during my fourth week in Zakynthos. I'll be uploading a short post somewhere the coming days in which I'll explain a little more so stay tuned if you're interested in that.
Enjoy these beautiful sunny days! ☀️ 

So.. the word is out. I am back in the Netherlands. Words cannot describe how I felt when I walked through the arrival doors at Schiphol airport. It was relief, it was disbelief. I felt sad and lucky at the same time. I embraced my parents wholeheartedly and in that moment I realized how privileged I am to be free and make my own choices. To see the opportunity to go home and be able to take it. I knew in my heart something wasn't right. Actually, I think I've known from the moment I set foot on Greek soil but my brain tried to reason with my heart which helped suppressing dealing with my feelings for a while. But as the days went by, my feelings gained strength and some situations that I was in, confirmed what my heart told me from the very first day. I can imagine you reading this and thinking to yourself: "But why? What happened?". I can totally understand if that is what you're thinking right now. All I wanna say is that it was a chain of events that led me to making the decision to go home. I booked a ticket back home and when I printed it and looked at it, I felt like I could finally breathe again. For a split second all these panicky thoughts and questions crossed my mind. All of them soon disappeared to the back of my mind because... I just knew it was the right choice for me. Because I followed my heart.

Thank you for reading.



Tuesday, April 04, 2017


Can you believe it? Only two more weeks to go... Zakynthos here I come! That also means high time to start packing my suitcase! Which brings me to my subject for today.
A portable often rectangular case with a handle and a  lid, used for carrying clothes and other personal possessions while traveling. Sounds familiar? ;-)
I've had many suitcases in my life. Mainly for traveling between my student apartment in Groningen, my parents house on the weekends and my boyfriends house for date nights. But those suitcases were never quite as lovely as this beautiful pink suitcase that I got from my parents for my birthday in December. I know, quite a long time ago but I haven't had an occasion to get it out from our store room and into the sunlight.
Until now...
Let's just go...
Don't worry if these photographs make you think I'm gonna pack light for a change. I'm not sick. I'm still me. Because even though it may not look like it now, I'm gonna stuff this suitcase full! Ever seen a photo or video of a person who has to sit on his or her knees on top of the luggage to get the zipper or clips to close? Yep, that's me! I'm also the girl who's googling "How to fit more stuff in your suitcase". I'm such a goof, haha.
My new four-wheel drive a.k.a. 'a Spinner'
In 14 days I'm hopping on a plane to Zakynthos. All by myself. With this pink suitcase by my side. Since I'm going away for quite some time I'm gonna have to bring quite a few things with me. It's not just clothes, it's medicines, it's electronics, it's good pairs of shoes (yes plural). All of that needs a safe way to be transported to Greece and back home when the time comes. This suitcase is not only pink (what's not to love?) but also really big and sturdy. All and all I think this one is really worth sharing with my dear readers since the best season for traveling is just around the corner!
On travel days we wear pink!
A suitcase in my favorite color. Call it pink, rose gold, mauve... it's a pretty suitcase that's what it is! Besides the fact that I absolutely adore this color, it's also very convenient to have one in a color that stands out from the crowd. Let's face it: most suitcases and trolleys are Plain Janes with their black, grey or blue exterior. I don't have to worry about finding mine on the conveyor belt!
By now you can guess what my fave color is...
The sizing of this one is also pretty decent: it has room for up to 113 L, weighs 4,8 kg and is 76,5 x 52,5 x 31 (+5) cm. The +5 cm is because you can actually make it bigger with one simple move. Handy for when you bought all kinds of nice souvenirs and you want to bring them back home to your friends and family but you don't want to leave any of your own stuff behind. By opening the zipper you recreate more space. Winning!
Travel chic
If you have any travel related or packing tips for me I would love to know. Leave me a comment down below or go to my Instagram @marjoleinevelien and say hi! :-)

Sunday, April 02, 2017


On this beautiful Sunday morning I'm sitting on the couch with my laptop and a cup of green tea by my side. Yesterday afternoon I took photos for this article and I'm finishing the accompanying text right now. This blog post is a little bit different than my usual food related pieces. Normally I write my own vegetarian recipes but today I share something that I feel is too good to keep to myself. It's not even a recipe but it's about something I know almost everyone enjoys. Let me give you a hint: it's brown, it's sweet and it's made from cocoa...
A perfect gift for your mom or one of your girlfriends
Chocolate! I came across a new product when I visited the National Health Fair in February. One of the first stalls I encountered was that of the brand Ridiculously Good. I really like what the founders of Ridiculously Good stand for: to let everyone enjoy a delicious chocolate snack, without having to feel guilty about it! How can anyone walk past a place where they hand out free chocolates? (the heart wants what it wants...) After just one bite, I was literally sold and I bought two boxes of chocolates to take home with me. Let's take a look at what I got...
Creamy Coconut and Rich Almond & Date chocolates
I love chocolate, cute packaging and supporting smaller brands. And I love it even more that this brand is founded by two Dutchies on a mission. I bought two different flavours: Creamy Coconut and Rich Almond & Date. For two rectangular boxes I paid €4,60. One box contains two big bonbon-like candybars. It is not a cheap product but I wanted to try and see if I thought it was worth paying for an organic and fair piece of chocolate, developed in the Netherlands.
The little rectangular box is too cute
The packaging is beautiful. The little cardboard box is printed with beautiful ornate letters and dreamy colors. This is what I want all gifts to look like. It is perfect to give to your mother, friend or special someone.
Ridiculously Good chocolates are made from cocoa beans from Ecuador that are burned at low temperatures keeping most of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Certified organic, 100% natural, free of refined sugar, gluten, lactose, aspartame, dyes, preservatives and other unnecessary additives. Sounds good right?! Another thing I'm happy to know is that these chocolates are produced and packed by a sheltered workshop in the Netherlands. This way a chocolate company is providing jobs for people.
Honestly such a tasty treat!
The taste is really good and distinct. The Creamy Coconut truly tastes like a better version of the well known Bounty. Rich Almond & Date has little pieces of both ingredients that give your bonbon a bit of crunch. I really enjoyed trying both flavours. As the Dutch say, like an angel pisses on your tongue ;-).
All in all, these delicious chocolates are a bit on the expensive side but by buying from this company you support a brand that wants what's best for the world and the people who live on it.

For more information you can go to their website

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


Cocktails for me represent tip-top times with my gal pals. Their colorful exteriors get us in a happy-go-lucky state of mind, regardless of what’s happening around us. Just one sip can bring back memories from the time you first drank it. And their dreamy names Brazilian Sunrise take us to far away places you never thought you'd go...
Mojito and Woo Woo
I truly value me-time but I am very much a social animal. Being around people just makes me happy. That's why I love getting together with my friends, ordering or making ourselves fancy drinks and choosing matching bites. Time totally flies! My favorite cocktails probably are Strawberry Cheesecake and Pornstar Martini. Should I post recipes of both?

Although I will travel to Greece by myself (me, myself and I) I expect no shortage of good conversations during my time there (to please the social animal in me). It's actually an easy recipe:

1. Order a nice refreshment #happyhour
2. Put away your phone (fine, after taking a photo for Instagram)
3. Find a comfortable chair
4. Be open-minded
5. Focus on the interactions you have with other people

Just like a fine cocktail, you don't need a lot of ingredients to create something beautiful...

What is your favorite cocktail?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


In my previous post I told you that I'm moving to Zakynthos in Greece to work there for the summer (you weren't dreaming when you read that!). But I didn't tell you exactly where it is that I'm moving... It's not a secret but I wanted to give you a little time to catch your breath from this shocking news ;-). So today I will give you some details about my home away from home.
A little boat bobbing on the Ionian waves
Zakynthos lies in the eastern part of the Ionian sea, around 20 km west of the Greek mainland. It is the third largest of the Ionian Islands, after Kefalonia and Corfu. If you're looking for a beautiful tranquil resort from where you can explore the rest of the island Zakynthos, the place where I'll be living is pretty much perfect for you. I speak from experience because I stayed here with my parents last year. Here you will find all that you wish for: a narrow beach where you can hire a boat and enjoy the sun, a boulevard with plenty of restaurants, supermarkets and rental shops; everything you need within walking distance. It's a friendly, small and quiet place by the seaside. I'm describing the village that is Agios Sostis.
Agios Sostis, Zakynthos, Greece

I included this map to give you an idea of where on Zakynthos I'll be staying. The capital is also called Zakynthos and is located on the east side of the island. Agios Sostis is only a 12 km ride away from Zakynthos town. The more touristy and popular town Laganas is nearby. You can easily walk or bike there as it is a 2 km distance. If you're interested to see more of the village Agios Sostis itself: this link will lead you to a video that gives an overview of what the surroundings look like. Of course you can also just keep an eye out for my blog posts the coming months. The airport is 9 km away from Agios Sostis. I bought an airplane ticket from Amsterdam Schiphol to Zakynthos but there is another way to get to the island. Multiple ferries go to and from Zakynthos. From the Greek mainland, from neighbouring island Kefalonia and from Italy as well. I chose the convenience of a plane because I'm bringing quite a lot of luggage with me (don't hold your breath)... but I think a ferry is also a fun way to travel through or to Greece.

On a side note: only 28 nights till the start of my journey!

Saturday, March 18, 2017


Today I want to tell you something special. It has been on my mind a lot lately but I kept quiet about it on my blog and social media handle because of two things: first of all I wanted to know for sure that this adventure was actually going to happen and second of all I wanted to take care of "the paperwork"* first.  Now that I've booked my flight, I want everyone to know...
Everything I need...
Can you believe it?! From mid-April till the end of summer I have a job on the Greek island Zakynthos. I visited this place in September last year as a graduation gift from my parents. In exactly one day and one month (I have a countdown app on my iPhone) it is time for me to hop on an airplane and revisit the beautiful island once again. This time not for a holiday but to immerge in the Greek culture and experience a whole different way of living. * I gave "the paperwork" quotation marks because basically all I had to do was arrange my voyage as I already have a valid passport and I don't need a work permit as I am an EU national from the Netherlands.

What kind of changes will you see here on Truly Mar? For the next couple of months you can expect to see different content here on my blog. The biggest one being that I'm going to use this platform as an online diary #travelblog to keep my family and friends up to date about my life in the sun. Next to that I want to explore my passion for photography and videography a lot more so stay tuned for some travel vlogs. Lastly you can expect to see Greek related content on my Instagram and other social media channels. I plan to capture every second of my time abroad.

I have always wanted to go abroad all by myself. Now I'm turning this fantasy into a reality. By sharing my journey I hope to inspire you to follow your dreams!
Zakynthos, Greece


Saturday, February 18, 2017


Six cold pressed raw fruit and vegetable juices by Naturalicious. 
Two weeks ago I visited the National Health Fair in Utrecht with my friend Dorien. It was a fun and interesting day full of health related presentations, tastings and demonstrations. We sneakily tried out all kinds of cookies and chocolates. Among all the food and drink stalls I noticed the brand Naturalicious. I have always been into smoothies and juices so I was drawn towards these colorful bottles of goodness. I decided to buy their deal of the day: six cold pressed raw fruit & vegetable juices for €10. And of course I am going to tell you all about my experience in this blog post!
So for the last six days I drank one juice per day. I did not have a specific goal in mind and I did not swap out any meals. The juices were healthy extra's filled with enzymes, minerals and vitamins. I was very curious about the different flavours and how they would make me feel. Supercharged?!

Monday, February 13, 2017


My favorite breakfast: overnight oats. 

My go to overnight oats breakfast. It's so simple I didn't even think about sharing it. But since I'm really enjoying this breakfast (I have been eating it most mornings for about a year now!) I thought I'd give you guys this ordinary overnight oats recipe anyway. It is always optional to leave ingredients out and add different fruits and condiments that you like. This is why I think overnight oats are really for everyone because you can personalize it till it's your own. I of course have to add my favorite fruit, raspberries.

Friday, February 10, 2017


It's almost Tuesday, February 14 a.k.a. Valentine's Day 2017! Not sure what to get your sugar this year? How about freshly baked cookies? Always a winner! And would you believe me if I tell you that these almond meal crunchies are actually healthy and good for you?! Promise! Easy & quick to make as well. What more do you want? Oh right... someone to eat these with :-). But you can also just bake up a batch and eat them "aaaaaall byyyyyy yoooourseeeeelf!"

Almond flour cookies. I first learned about these cookies through Mimi Ikonn. Mimi has been an inspiration for me for many years now. If you don't know who she is, look her up on YouTube and Instagram. Mimi Ikonn and her husband Alex Ikonn have always inspired me to eat healthy foods, preferably produce from your own country and what is in season at the moment. The original recipe for these almond flour cookies comes from a cookbook Mimi wrote a couple of years ago. It's called Healthy & Delicious - Easy recipes that will make you look and feel great. I wrote a blog post on this book that you can check out here. Unfortunately I don't think the cookbook is being sold anymore. Mimi if you're reading this, so many people are still asking for your cookbook and recipes. I even had a few women asking me if they could buy my copy of your cookbook. Which is not gonna happen because I love it too much. Even though I made a few small changes I still hope you don't mind me sharing your recipe with my readers. Because frankly, these cookies are too good not to share. The cookies have a nice nutty flavour thanks to the almond flour and are super quick to make. These almond flour cookies gluten and dairy free and contain only a little bit of sugar.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017


Healthy Mar = Happy Mar
Yep you read that title right. Today marks my six month of eating almost no bread.
It was the end of summer last year when I finally made an effort to make a doctor's appointment. At the same time I promised myself that if this wouldn't lead to finding a solution to my health complaints I would call up a dietician. Luckily it never came to that thanks to a brilliant suggestion my doctor made: "Why don't you try cutting out bread for three weeks?"
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