Posts in Columns

I am burned-out and taking a break

I’m staring at this blank paper knowing exactly what I need to write. Yet the words can’t come out. Why? I want this personal post to be entertaining, funny, I want it to show that I’m a pretty good writer and I want it to be a good representation of who I am as a person. And that’s exactly my problem. My need to impress others but even more so myself keeps me from acknowledging what’s truly going on: I am burned-out. And that’s really all I need to write and really all I need to acknowledge.

What does burned-out mean?

It means that your battery is dead. You have used up all your energy without realizing it. You’ve noticed that you were getting tired and you might need a break, but you ignored the signals of your body. When you realized your battery was dead, you used a spare one you had left instead of stopping and charging the initial battery.

There will come a point where the spare battery is dead too; a point where there’s no energy left and you can’t do anything anymore. And this is when you’re officially part of the burnout-club, welcome!

How did I get burned out?

It’s been a crazy few years filled with lots of challenges, good and bad. Here’s a “short” version of my lifeline:

  • Sept 2015: Found out my father had cancer
  • Oct 2015: Fell in love with the love of my life
  • Jan 2016: My father passed away
  • Jun 2016: Leaving everything in The Netherlands to travel the world
  • Jul 2016: Seeing amazing places, yet feeling completely lost without a home and without a clear goal
  • Sept 2016: Starting to feel at home in Sydney and having the best months of my life
  • Dec 2016: Unexpected trip to The Netherlands due to my grandmother passing away
  • Apr 2017: Leaving Sydney to work and live at a farm for 4 months in order to get a second Australian visa
  • May 2017: Working 50 hours a week picking potatoes and working 15 to 20 hours a week on my social media and content business (read all about it here)
  • Sept 2017: Applied for a second visa while waiting abroad until allowed back in Australia, which normally takes about 2 to 4 weeks
  • Dec 2017: Finally able to return to our home and belongings in Sydney after 4 insecure and nomadic months of waiting for visa approval

I might be writing these events down as a summary of facts, but all of these moments involved lots of emotions, insecurities, and stress. I don’t mean this to be some sort of pity list; “Then this bad thing happened to me, then that bad thing”. This is literally what happened the past 2,5 year and it’s actually a pretty big eye-opener to me. And I never realized how many insane things happened in such a short period of time until I wrote them down. And two other very personal things are not even included… I realize now that it’s not so crazy that a time has come where I’m struggling with life. I also realize now that my burnout was definitely not caused by just working too much.

Setting high goals for myself

When we finally got back to Sydney early this year I wanted to make the most of it, as I felt like I just missed 4 months of my life waiting for our visa. More like 9 months actually, as living and working at the farm wasn’t much of a life for me. This was the moment to finally work towards the goals I had set for myself.

I worked hard and as a result, my career went sky rocking. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen it happen. But success can come at a cost. I was working 15 hours a day and hardly made time for things/people that really brought me joy. I ignored the signals my body was giving me and just kept going and going. As if life wasn’t stressful enough, I even moved house during this time.

Can’t release stress anymore

Due to all these events I apparently build up so much stress that my body literally got tight with tension 24/7 and I wasn’t able to release it anymore. Until the first day I cried for no reason five months ago. Lots of those cries would follow and I realized it was simply a way for my body to let a little bit of stress go.

Sometimes a cry wouldn’t be enough and the tension in my body would build up so bad that I’d get an anxiety attack. Feeling like losing control of your own body and mind is a very, very scary thing and definitely not beneficial for a healthy, positive mental state.

Neither is insomnia, which is a common thing for burned-out people. My body is so full of stress hormones that the sleep hormones can’t win. So even though I’m exhausted, I can’t sleep. Which gets me frustrated, which causes stress, which makes it hard to sleep, which causes more stress, which makes it even harder to sleep and hello vicious circle! Fun fact: It’s 4.24 in the morning while I’m writing this. Not so funny actually…

Fall-back

I realized I had to take this burnout seriously and I’ve taken lots of different steps towards recovering the past few months. For example: Meditating almost every day, doing a Mindfulness course, taking naps, saying no to work projects, saying no to friends, writing down all things that cause me stress and things that make me happy. I felt like my energy levels were slowly getting back to normal.

The worst thing any burned out person can do is to use up the energy you’ve slowly built up. Yet that’s exactly what I did. Why? I was just so happy to have a bit of energy again. I was so happy to finally get some work done, to see my friends again and doing things that make my life worthy. It’s a common mistake burned out people make. Result: I’m back to where I started.

Time to take it serious

I find it really hard to accept that I’m “sick” and having to respond to my body, my heart, my intuition. Even though these are the things that tell you what’s best for you. Instead, like so many people, I always listen to my critical mind that wants me to do stuff, that wants me to succeed.

This is probably the reason why of all things I tried, I haven’t tried to take a true break from work; stop Instagram, stop creating content and stop all the business stuff that comes with it. A part of me still feels that I should be able to get the priority things done. But what is your true priority when you’re sick? Getting better. It’s time for me to get better and do nothing for a while. Even though doing nothing makes me feel like a failure.

I’m taking a digital break starting Monday the 25th

I’m planning on doing so for a week, unless my body tells me I need more time. This is the reason why I wanted to share this personal story with you; I don’t want to just disappear.

I’m also sharing this to get people more aware of the fact that what you see on social media is just a small percentage of what’s truly going on in a person’s life.

But most of all I’m sharing this in hopes of reaching people, even just one person, that’s dealing with this as well. This story doesn’t contain an answer or magical solution to this shitty problem, unfortunately, but hopefully, it makes someone else experiencing a burn out feel less alone.

If you have any tips, things that worked for you, good books to read, maybe even the name of a burn-out specialist in Sydney, I’d love to hear from you 🙂

A Dutch fashion girl doing farm work in Australia

Yup, that’s me. You thought I was talking about someone else huh? No, I’ve been working and living on a farm in the Australian country for 4,5 months. Pause for reaction…

Rick and I arrived in Sydney on a one-year Working Holiday visa. A so-called 417-visa. To extend our stay as foreigners, Dutch people in particular, we could try to get sponsored by an employer or do 88 days of farm work. We never really focused on getting sponsored, so we choose to do 88 days of farm work. Well, to say we choose makes it sounds as if we were totally fine with this option, which definitely wasn’t the case. I was dreading it to the fullest!

Dreading farm work

First of all, farm work itself isn’t appealing to me at all. I’m no stranger to working hard, but fiscally hard work? Literally getting my hands dirty? Not familiar with the concept. We’ve heard horror stories of backpackers having to pick fruit 14 hours a day for 2 dollars an hour. It’s a fact that a lot of farmers take advantage of travelers that are desperate to get their second-year visa papers signed. The government has taken steps, but it’s still a common thing to get screwed over by farmers.

We made the conscious decision to not apply for fruit picking jobs in the popular states where there are tons of backpackers, like sunny Queensland, to increase our chances of getting a good paying job at an honest farmer, #TIP! We ended up working at for a great farmer at a potato farm in Victoria.

Leaving the city we love

The second thing I wasn’t looking forward to was living in the country. You’re not allowed to work on a farm near the bigger cities and therefore farm work is also known as regional work. I know people who would love to live in the country, being surrounded by nature and quietness, but I’m just not one of those people. I’m a city girl and I loved my city life in Sydney.

Not just because of the city itself, also because of the people we met, friends we made, the house we made our own those amazing first months in Australia. For the first time in my life I truly felt at home and after just 7 months I was supposed to leave that behind already? I literally cried when we drove out of our suburb Newtown that first weekend of April.

Next to leaving our house, friends and the city we love so much, we didn’t know in what type of house we would stay. In most cases farmers provide accommodation, but just as payment, it’s known that farmers screw over travelers on accommodation too. We didn’t know where or with whom we were going to end up, and I was really uncomfortable with that.

Fashion shoots on a paddy next to a cow?

Another thing that worried me was how I could keep my online business going. How the hell am I supposed to create fashionable content when I live in the middle of nowhere? Am I supposed to pose on a paddy next to a cow? Might be fun for 1 post, but what about the other 120 posts? And if I do find a way, will I even have Internet to actually post it? I was really scared I would have to shut down “the business” for 4 months because creating content and sharing it online is what I love to do.

I was lucky to find ways to create content and I’m extremely thankful for having three dots of 4G signal every day! There are a few villages about a 20-40 minute drive away and we’re “just” 2 hours from Melbourne. So I was able to keep my business going without anyone knowing about my life on the farm. And that made me really glad because I was actually ashamed of my situation.

Ashamed of my farm life

Though I would like to think I’m way too down to earth to go along with the ‘life has to be perfect’ trend we see on Instagram and Facebook, it gets to me too. You all know me as this fashion girl living in the big city; how stupid will I look if I share stuff about my crappy life on the farm? I mean there’s absolutely nothing wrong with farming – I actually gained great respect for people doing this 24/7! – but it’s not really fashionable and it makes my life look everything but perfect.

In the end, I’m actually more ashamed of not wanting to share it, then I am for sharing it now. Because I think we shouldn’t just share a perfect picture, we should also share our struggles. Nothing worth having comes easy and that’s just the way life is. Yet with social media nowadays it looks as everything does come easy. People share photos of their amazing travel adventures, their newest designer bag, their coolest cars and their beautiful house(s) as if it’s normal.

Some people are just lucky but most of us have to work hard, step outside our comfort-zone and do things we don’t want to do, to eventually get closer to our dreams. So if you ever feel like you’re the only one having to struggle while everyone else is leading the perfect life, you are not! We all go through things that suck, sometimes without even knowing why we have to deal with it, but eventually, you’ll get closer to your goals. Not by sitting at home, but to work hard and doing things outside of your comfort-zone, cause that’s the only way to move forward.

Wouldn’t have wanted to miss this experience!

When we left Sydney in April, I wish I could just snap my fingers and travel 4,5 months forward in time. In the end, I am really thankful magical things like that aren’t possible because I wouldn’t have wanted to miss the past 4,5 months. Yes, it wasn’t the ideal life, but it wasn’t as bad as I expected. The past 3 months were actually the best months I ever had business-wise! Who would have known that would happen?!

But most importantly, I grew as a person from this experience. The pessimist in me has learned how to turn a shitty situation into a good one, by accepting it and making the most out of it, instead of constantly fighting it. Fighting things you have to go through is the toughest fight you’ll ever have. In the end, I handled the past 4,5 months like a boss and I’m really proud of myself! And being truly proud of myself is also a very new, yet great feeling.

Share your struggles!

I would like to challenge you to share some of your life struggles too, as I think we shouldn’t just share perfect pictures or perfect stories. Let’s comfort each other by sharing something real. I’m not asking you to share a very personal or depression story, but just something others probably can relate to. Like that time you had to move in with your parents because you decided to finally get that degree you’ve always wanted and started college again as a 40-year-old. Or something like that 😉 I’m looking forward to reading your comments!

As for my story, we got our 88 days of farm work!!! We’re going on a well-deserved holiday in a few days and while being overseas, we’re going to apply for our second-year visa. I’ll keep you posted!

When flawlessness isn’t so flawless – a column about makeup

One thing not so cool about traveling; your skin doesn’t know how to handle the sun, salty sea water, chemical swimming pool water, dry air, humid air… My forehead has always been my problem area, and she and I haven’t been good friends lately. Follow my vlogs? If you pause it every now and then, you can do a fun game of pimple counting. They’re right between my brows and my hairline. Good luck!

It was better when I had my Bali tan, but now that that pretty brown glow is gone (thanks Sydney), my forehead is behaving bad again. Of course it has to do with my diet and skin care as well, but I eat healthy, try to drink more water and just bought some new skin products that are helping. But I also got some new make-up products to do a proper cover-up.

I’m a beauty disaster

Because I’m a bit insecure, I’m quite skin and make-up focussed at the moment. So when I’m doing my daily Instagram feed check now, I don’t just look at outfits, I look at faces. And damn, so many girls look flawless! How do they do it?! To get an answer to that question I go to YouTube.

Just so you understand, I’m a beauty disaster. I don’t know how to work make-up and I don’t know what’s good for me. Some things even scare me, like contouring and lip-liner. I’ve got a few items that feel and look good, and I stick to it. Like my Clinique ‘Even Better’ foundation and Chanel ‘Le Volume mascara’, hallelujah.

My skin starts itching looking at these videos

But now that I want to know a bit more about beauty, YouTube comes to the rescue. Thank you youtubbers, for all those ‘Every day skin and make-up routine’ videos! A lot of Instagrammers also do videos and lucky for me, they also do a lot of skincare and makeup videos. But instead of making me wanna get out my new make-up, they make me wanna throw it out. The amount of foundation, concealer, bronzer, highlighter, blush, eyebrow powder, fake lashes and lip-liner (wow, I do know some beauty words!) is just shocking to me. How can that feel comfortable? My skin starts itching just looking at these videos.

The sad thing is, these girls are so pretty when they start the video without make-up. Okay, a little foundation, blush, mascara and eye-brow stuff makes them look a bit more flawless, but so many girls continue putting stuff on their faces when I thought they were done ten minutes ago. I’m sorry for being harsh, but very often I look at it and think ‘Don’t you see you’ve got stripes of makeup on your face?’. So many girls literally use their face as a canvas and just like Van Gogh (or any other Impressionist) hardly blend out the lines. Or is that the point and do I just don’t get it? I personally wouldn’t like to walk around with a dark brown stripe under my cheekbones, but that’s just me.

Who wants to wake up to a different looking woman?

I realize that I’m blessed with good skin (except for that forehead!) and that I’m blessed with a boyfriend who thinks I look my best with just a little mascara on. I know for a fact that many men feel that way and I totally understand. Who wants to wake up to a totally different looking woman?

I also realize that some girls really have something to cover-up that makes them insecure when they don’t. Just as I bought new makeup, now that I’m having troubles with my skin. I get it and I’m not anti make-up. But I think makeup should be used to cover-up flaws and to emphasize your plus points. Not to create a totally different face. Or in some, not so rare cases unfortunately, a clown look. I’m sorry, but I’m also not sorry.

Cover-up & emphasize

The point of this column is not to be mean to women who love make-up, it’s not to make fun of women who use make-up. It’s not that I’m becoming the next Alicia Keys and stop wearing make-up to make a statement. The point is that we all compare ourselves to it-girl on social media, but sometimes when you look closer (or at their YouTube tutorials in this case) they’re flawlessness doesn’t come as easy as you might have thought. We all have flaws we want to cover-up, we all have plus point we could emphasize. And I hope that in the end that’s what most of us will do when using makeup!

Photo by barelytherebeauty.com

A new start: From Fashion Hoax to Lian Galliard

Four years ago I published my blog with one simple click, not knowing that today it would be my job. I’m very thankful for all the wonderful encounters, trips, events, nominations, features and collaborations Fashion Hoax has brought me.

Despite of all the amazing things I’ve accomplished as a blogger, I still am a true Fashion Hoax: to me there’s more than just fashion. I realize that more and more now that I’m getting older (the big 3-0 is around the corner!) and now that I’m traveling. But what I realize most is I blog according to what is expected from the so called fashionblogger, instead of blogging about what’s really happening in my life. And I lead a pretty awesome life, if I may say so myself, as I left my home behind to travel the world for an indefinite period of time. At the moment I live in fashionable Sydney.

So now what, no more fashion?

Will you not be blogging about fashion anymore? That will never happen, fashion is my thing. It has been ever since I tried on my mothers clothes as a little girl for the first time. And today I still love the dress-up parties I have every morning.

But next to fashion I also love traveling and writing. I’m sort of a little Carrie Bradshaw, minus 50 pairs of Manolo’s. They wont fit in my backpack. And let’s not forget that I don’t have the money for it..

I want to blog about what I like and a first step in the good direction is a name change: From Fashion Hoax to Lian Galliard. That’s me btw, hi! Liangalliard.com will be filled with columns about thirty-something female problems, travel tips and travel stories, and good old outfit photo’s. But also random ‘Pic(k)s of the day’ without further explanation. Just because I can on my own personal blog.

She’s crazy! Is she?

Some people might think this is the stupidest thing I could do, for me it’s something that finally get’s me excited again. Pushing the ‘Publish’ or ‘Share’ button is so much more fun when you put something online that you truly stand for. And if other people like it as well, well that’s just awesome!

Sunday column: How do surf chicks keep looking good on the board?

If you expect an answer to his question, click away this page. This is not a ‘How-To’ article, this is a true question. So answers are very welcome!

After three surfing sessions I can hardly call myself a surf chick, even though I did stand on the board several times. My first wave I was actually on it more than five seconds and won my bet to Rick. Though he thinks I didn’t win, because the next wave (his first wave) he was also on the board for more than five seconds. We eventually compromised: I won this bet because Rick is always better at sports.

So I’m a surf chick to be. I like surfing and I feel good when I do it, even though I kind of suck. After this column is done, we’re gonna go back to the beach to rent a board #fanatic.

Yes, I’m excited about the first sport I really like. So excited, that when I walk into the ocean, the fashion girl inside of me disappears. Not by choice! You can hardly look good when you’re in the ocean. Well, maybe when you’re floating on a board in your perfectly cut-out swimsuit, trying to capture your perfect next instagram photo. My opinion though is that a lot of surf chicks look kind of fucked up during the sport. The good kind of fucked, the I’m-totally-into-my-sport kind of fucked up.

Hello butt crack!

Here in Bali my hair bun gets flushed out by a wave every 15 seconds. After an hour I’ve got a lost elastic hanging somewhere in my hair and the other locks are stuck to my wed face. My red, burned face I might add. The sun loves bare skin spot on the open sea.

Next to the hair, the waves also love to flush my face, including nose and mouth. Although I find it embarrassing to blow my nose in public, during surfing I blow my snot right into the water without a handkerchief or a hand in front of it. Same goes for my saltwater spit.

And then there’s the bikini bottom. Don’t expect it to stay in place when you’re trying to catch a good wave or when you get wiped off your board. Everyone at Kuta Beach has seen my butt crack by now. In between the waves there’s just no time to pull my bottom out of my butt cheeks, no time to put my bun back together and properly dispose of my snot. What if a wave flushes me away or worse, I miss out on a great wave! Told you I was a fanatic.

But there’s one beauty-thing I really hate about surfing: Your hair gets wet every day. I love my thick hair, but it’s not that typical beach girl hair that looks even better when spending a day in salty water. ‘Salty hair, don’t care’ my ass. I’m not the type that washes her hair once every two weeks (yuk), but to was hit every day? Having to blow-dry and curl/straighten it again? Not good form y bleached hair.

So ladies, let’s go with those tips!

 

Sunday column: The unexpected ‘Yes’

Exactly one year ago Rick and I had our first date. Read the story of our first date here. A first date of one hour, one hour that would eventually change my life. Because of this anniversary, I’m sharing a column that I wrote a few months ago, when I was in my head-over-heels state. And the great part is, I’m still head-over-heels in love with Rick!

When you’re a woman who has passed the age of 25, you’ll get asked the inevitable question: Do you plan on having children? So I was asked again the other day. Especially when everyone around you is walking around with a big baby belly, and you’ve only got so much as a little muffin top, every one want to know if you’re busy. Oh, I’m busy alright, but my goal in the act is an orgasm, not a child. Shall I just throw that one in as an answer the next time?! That will shut them up.

Anywho, everyone is popping out babies around me like it’s nothing. My best friends brother just became a father for the first time, my stepsister just became a newbie mommy, hell, my nephew and colleague’s son were born on the exact same morning a few months ago! Now the loaded question gets asked even more. Loaded question? When the answer is not YES I WANT KIDS it’s a loaded question, believe me.

The first time I was asked, I was still with my ex. What happened next had something to do with a blushing face, an awkward answer (“I don’t know yet”) and an uncomfortable glance at the man I should have children with within a couple of years. A sweet man who would definitely be a great father and who wanted to be a great father. Deep inside though I knew I didn’t want to be a mother. Now I know I didn’t want to be the mother of his children. And that’s a big difference.

Children? Neh, too busy Tindering

A little over two months ago I had a short spontaneous date with a man I was randomly ‘Tindering’ with. I prefer tindering over bearing, thank you very much. While I was busy extending my contact list at that time (meaning: collecting phone numbers of potential fuckbuddy’s), I met the man that would change everything.

We were both dating other people, we were both not looking for anything serious. Well, we came back from that one. We both had never been so in love in 28 years. ‘That that could still happen at the age of 28’, we’ve said to each other about 28 times. After two weeks Tinder was deleted, after 4 weeks we were officially exclusive and after 7 week he whispered ‘I love you’ in my ear at his mothers house. Resolutely I whispered ‘I love you too’ back.

Last Sunday we got to talking about cartoons. Of course he likes cartoons as much as I do. Before I knew it, an uncontrolled sentence I’ll never forget flew out of my mouth: “So you’ll wake up every Sunday morning with our kids to watch cartoons with them?” And all of a sudden I saw the three of them sitting on the couch in their pajamas. Daddy in the middle with his arms around two curly headed cuties, sleepy staring at the TV. The feeling I felt was the same feeling I felt when the man in question told me he was in love with my for the first time: butterflies.

Hold up, what?! Lian, you don’t even want kids! And mostly: Lian, you’ve only known this guy for two months! In one millisecond these thoughts came to mind and in one millisecond they disappeared when he smiled and said: “Yes, me in my onesie and them in their koala pajamas, haha!”

Tick-tock, gotta go, my biological clock is ticking!

onverwachteja2

How Instagram likes make you forget what you really like

Why do I feel like shit now that I’m leading the perfect Instagram life?!

Ever since we started our travel adventure I realize more and more that I’m too Instagram-focused. I’m so focused on taking the perfect picture, I’m not truly experiencing what’s happening around me. A cute coffee place is not a place to enjoy a cup of coffee anymore, it’s a potential Instagram picture. A white-sand-and-blue-sea beach is not a place to relax anymore, it’s a potential Instagram picture. I see the world through my iPhone and/or Nikon camera, and therefor I don’t see the world as it is anymore. So two weeks ago I decided to take a blog/vlog/instagram break.

Quiting blogging & instagramming cold-turkey

Not being able to enjoy my life, even when being on a beautiful island with the love of my life, makes me feel ungrateful, spoiled, stupid and very sad. I’m leading the perfect Instagram life, what the F is wrong with me?! After another morning of crying I was so done with the inability to enjoy myself because I’m too busy on capturing my new Insta-hit, I stopped Instagramming, blogging and vlogging cold-turkey. I didn’t even leave you guys a little note. Sorry for that.

I can’t blame my sadness completely on the Instagram-pressure. It’s been a rough year with a lot of changes, including my father passing away. I just made a new start, which is awesome, yet this travel adventure is also scary and takes quite some getting used-to. All things that made life a bit harder. Never the less I do feel that the Instagram-pressure is what’s causing my inability to enjoy my life. Which became even clearer when I stopped Instagramming, blogging and vlogging.

The first few days I still had a lot of ‘This would be a cool Instagram shot!’ thoughts, yet it felt so nice to not grab my iPhone and spend 10 minutes taking pictures. It felt so nice to just spread my colourful Balinese sarong I just bought for a few Rupiah on one of the crappy, yet comfy beach-beds. It felt so nice to just look at the sea over my un-manicured toes. If I was still in my Instagram-mode I would have bought a trendy black and white sarong, I would have sat in an uncomfortable but stylish chair and I would have painted my nails, so they’d be picture-perfect. Instead I was just laying in the sun, watching children play, listening to the sound of the waves and finally feeling a bit of enjoyment inside of me. Apparently this is what I truly like.

Painful confessions

I had another moment of truth when we went to Potato Head Beach Club. A trendy beach club my inner-Instagrammer would love, yet the Lian I am at the moment didn’t actually like it that much. Yes, the place looked amazing and was so trendy that every picture I would take would be a hit on Instagram, but something felt off. The prices were too high, the people were too ‘look at me’, the vibe just wasn’t right. I realized I’d rather have a cheap Bintang beer with Rick at one of the crappy, but cute places at the beach. Apparently that’s what I truly like.

I remember when Rick moved in with me, I had a hard time replacing my minimalistic black chairs for his comfortable pink and purple chairs. There goes my Instagram-perfect black and white home… Now, after a few weeks in colorful Bali, I want my future home to look warm and cosy, with lots of wooden elements and turquoise as the main colour. Apparently that’s what I truly like.

And to add another painful confession to the story (one I couldn’t even confess to myself before): I buy clothes based on their Instagram potential. Of course I don’t buy everything that’s trendy. Those Gucci fur loafers? Yuk! No even if you gave them to me. But I painfully admit that next to the question ‘Will I be able to match this with other items I own?’, the question ‘Is this item Instagram-worthy?’ plays a big part in my to-buy-or-not-to-buy decision making.

How to keep your true self and your inner-instagrammer apart?

So apparently I go to places and buy things that have Instagram potential. I think in Instagram-likes in stead of doing and sharing what I really like. That’s not good, not good at all.

Now I realize that Instagram is part of my job and with every job come things you don’t always like. But since my Instagram (and my blog & vlog) is about my life, it should be filled with things I like. It’s going to be quite a challenge to separate the things my inner-Instagrammer likes with the things Lian likes, as the two are so entangled with each other after all these years. But I’m gonna try. Meaning my Instagram and blog won’t be as stylish as they look now. Or as I’m trying to make them look now 😉 I don’t want to share a great picture, I want to share a great moment.

Are you a blogger/instagrammer as well and do you recognize yourself in this story? Or do you know how to keep your true self and your inner-instagrammer apart? If so, please let me know how, as I find it very hard to do! Looking forward to reading your opinion about this all, even if you’re not a blogger/instagrammer!

What you need for a first date (and the story of my first date)

First about the one thing that caught your eye: the dress. I love this dress! Just perfect for the red carpet or a special date.

I must say I don’t quite look like this on my first date. I wore a casual black top and black jeans. I combined it with nude pumps that actually got stuck between two tiles on the way to the café we were going. My shoe stood there as I took a step with a bare foot, with Rick next to me. As I started to cuss, the ice was broken. Rick immediately knew what kind of girl he just met: A tomboy disguised in a female body. The contrast between the two would be even more extreme if I’d worn this female dress.

I think Rick would love this dress, even though he loves the fact that I’m more ‘one of the guys’ then a typical girl. During our second date I wore high heels and a skirt with an extreme slits (this skirt), and he was blown away. I believe that every man, whether he likes tough, sweet, spontaneous or shy girls, loves to see his lady in a female dress and high heeled shoes every now and then.

So, what do you need for a first date?

  • A perfect date-dress
  • Shoes that are tightened to your feet (!)
  • A full-battery phone in case you need your bestie to save you from a horrible date
  • Toothpicks to improve your chances of a first kiss
  • Mints to improve your chances of a second kiss
  • Deodorant to improve your chances period

It’s proven that sent is very important when it comes to first impressions. You might have sprayed yourself with Flowerbomb 10 times, sweaty smells will beat the Viktor & Rolf masterpiece right away. And believe me, you’re going to sweat. Even when you’re having the date in December. I choose NIVEA Invisible Black & White deodorant. It’s made especially to prevent yellow stains on white clothes and white stripes on black clothes. Can you imagine white stripes on this dress? The whole powervibe of this outfit would go down the drain immediately. No thank you?

Want to see the dress in action? Check out this video.

SELF PORTRAIT dress || ALDO shoes (via sarenza) || NIVEA Invisible Black & White deodorant || FABIENNE CHAPOT bag

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Tinder Tales II: A letter to Tinder

Dear Tinder,

I have joked about writing this letter a lot. But while laughing I was secretly not joking. I fought it for far too long and I feel that I have to do what I secretly wanted to do for months. Dear Tinder, I really want to tell you how thankful I am that you exist.

No, I don’t want to thank you for the fucks I’ve had thanks to you. I don’t want to thank you for the dates I’ve had thanks to you. I don’t even want to thank you for the epic Tinder Tuesday I had thanks to you. Even though that’s worth a ‘thank you’ as you can read here.

Tinder, I want to thank you for introducing me to my boyfriend. I want to say the love of my life, but it might be a bit too early to say that. Even though we already agreed we’re staying together until we have to change each others dentures in a retirement home. Sounds much more fun than ’till we die right?! That’s what we thought! It makes us laugh, which we do all the time as you can see on the photo I added. We have the same weird sense of humor. We also have the weird need to always be honest and talk everything out. Even though there’s not much to talk out, because we happen to always think a-like. So we mostly talk about other things, from silly things to serious things. And of course we talk dirty 😉

What I’m trying to say Tinder, is that I really appreciate you introducing me to love when I wasn’t even looking for it. I went in with an open mind and apparently an open heart, as it’s now filled with love. It’s not 100% full yet, my boyfriend is still breaking down my walls. But he says he will break them down until I’m not afraid to love him as much as he loves me. Isn’t that wonderful, Tinder?

Thank you from the bottom of my almost full heart.

All the best,

Lian Galliard.

Column: The time I bought small shoes and couldn’t get them back on

I have this thing for buying the wrong shoes. I actually wrote a column about it a few years ago. I think I’m going to re-post it, as it still happens to me. Lesson learned my ass!

I know I’m not the only woman doing this. We all do this. Why? Do we have too much money? Do we lack judgment? What happens in Zara (for example) when we try on a pair of shoes and take them to the register when we know they are too small, too big or very uncomfortable? We want it! We want it bad! We fell in love the moment we saw them standing in the corner, the way Zara’s visual merchandiser intended. And we fell even more in love when we saw the price tag. Often a price tag with the word ‘sale‘ on it.

No zipper equals struggle. And lots of cussing.

In my case it was Zara indeed, but it was online and the price tag didn’t have the word sale on them. It had the numbers 19,99 on it though. No further explanation needed. I ordered them right away and picked them up right after I got a text from Zara. They make it so easy! Not so easy was putting the shoes on. No zipper equals struggle. And lots of cussing I might add. But after moving my feet a bit and some help of my shoehorn and my boyfriend, I got them on. I should have known better by then, but they looked way too good on my feet! So I cut off the price tag…

The day after I had an evening planned with my family-in-law. First we went bowling and I hit two strikes and a spare. This has no value to this story, but I just wanted to tell you 😉 Then the moment came we had to put back the bowling shoes and put on our own. You get where this is going… My boyfriend told his family what happend the other day with the shoes and I was more than ready to proof them all wrong. These shoes are awesome and fit (almost) perfectly! I didn’t think of the fact that my feet swell in warm spaces and that bowling shoes have a habit of making feet sweaty. By the way, why haven’t they come up with something for that? It’s gross! Any who, putting the shoes on was a challenge. Wrong word, it was a disaster!

Forever the girl that buys the wrong shoes

Sitting down, standing up, with the help of my boyfriend, the help of a shoehorn.. Nothing worked! I took us 15 minutes to get the left shoe on. Fifteen minutes, one shoe! Thank god we had half an hour to get from the bowling place to the restaurant.

I must admit, it was quite funny. This situation totally fits a self-mocking Fashion Hoax. I actually had to ask everyone to stop making me laugh, because it didn’t help me in the process of getting the shoes on. But after a few minutes my laugh turned into cuss-words, mostly in my head. My in-laws are crazy like me and therefore totally awesome, but what I said in my head couldn’t be said out loud. I was so done with the fucking *@#% shoes. I was ready to cut the right one open with scissors (no joke), when I realized my feet needed to cool down. So with my right heel still out of the shoe, I hobbled outside. After 10 minutes of cooling down I gave it another try and the shoe finally moved over my right heel. Hallelujah! And now I’m more than ever the girl that buys wrong shoes..

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Yes, they took photos of me during the disaster. See my boyfriend gently stroking my hair, trying to support his crazy, cussing girlfriend? I also had one where I raised my middle finger, but I thought it would be best to delete it..