tiny adventures: rainy dunes on Texel

dunes, texel / anne van midden / inspire stylingDon't get me wrong, I love warm summer days.. to spend the entire day outside, eat in the garden, walk around barefoot, feeling the salty water and sand on my skin. I love it. But I loved these dark clouds too!

A week ago we spent the weekend at Texel and after a sunny day on the beach we walked out into the forest and the dunes next to it. With clouds gathering above our heads and raindrops falling down it felt more like November than July. But in stead of going back to the car we walked on and snapped some pictures of these sloping hills filled with blossoming honeysuckle. Oh, how I wish I could make you smell that sweet summer scent! dunes, texel / anne van midden / inspire stylingdunes, texel / anne van midden / inspire styling dunes, texel / anne van midden / inspire styling dunes, texel / anne van midden / inspire styling

tiny adventures: golden hour between the trees

golden hour between the trees | Inspire Styling blogThis Easter weekend my love and I went to Texel. For those who have missed it, my husband is born on this island in the North Sea and his family still lives there. So every family visit is a weekend away, which is lovely. To have that true mini holiday feeling we always try to get out, just the two of us. To our favorite forest, heathland or the beach or course. I love the peace I find there every time. I can hear Stefan laughing about this sentence, because most of the time I get really excited about the beach. There is something in that salty air that makes my head go bananas! ;)

Last Saturday we sat inside at my father in laws and I saw that gorgeous sunlight through the window. I made Stefan get up instantly, we jumped in the car and chased the sun. They don't call it golden hour for nothing, it doesn't last forever! I actually ran some bits to make sure I could catch the last light of that beautiful sunny day. And I don't run. Period. It was worth it the exception! Time for me to prove it.. Enjoy :) golden hour between the trees | Inspire Styling bloggolden hour between the trees | Inspire Styling bloggolden hour between the trees | Inspire Styling bloggolden hour between the trees | Inspire Styling bloggolden hour between the trees | Inspire Styling bloggolden hour between the trees | Inspire Styling bloggolden hour between the trees | Inspire Styling bloggolden hour texel - Inspire Styling blog24golden hour between the trees | Inspire Styling bloggolden hour between the trees | Inspire Styling blog It doesn't look like a flat Dutch island at all, does it? I'm in love with this place and this light! :)

♥ Anne

back in town after our honeymoon in Costa Rica

Anne van Midden - Cahuita, Costa Rica honeymoonBack in town, so back to real life! With a heart filled with green leaves, tropical birds, colorful flowers, the most beautiful butterflies, Costa Rica towns and new friends, it's time to get started again. I am so happy to be working on a lot of fun projects, so it doesn't hurt as much to say goodbye to our honeymoon and hello to real life!

I have a LOT of photos to sort out and some videos Stefan made with his GoPro... but I will be back with a report of our wonderful trip! It was sooo good! :) ♥

Have a great monday! ♥ Anne

honeymoon a go go! leaving for Costa Rica

Borneo rainforest - Anne van MiddenI took this photo during our WNF trip to Borneo, 3 years ago. It was my first and only trip overseas and it was amazing. I have been dreaming about these green leaves ever since and am just in love with all those shades of green!

This photo is a little reminder: I will be travelling through Costa Rica this month. If you send me an email/message, I will answer it when I get back. So if you don't hear anything.. it's not you, it's me! (honeymoon and work are like oil and water, you can't mix them!) :)

Follow me on instagram for updates and 'happy couple on a tropical beach/I hate you' photos! ;) @annevanmidden

♥ Anne

unforgettable, amazing, wonderful 2014

sunset trampoline | Inspire Styling journalThere's no better way to end a year than jumping a tiny trampoline on the beach during a beautiful sunset :)

Most people started counting the hours, my husband is baking 'oliebollen' in the kitchen, kids are throwing fireworks everywhere (argh, my poor cat is flipping out!), the champagne is chilled and ready... 2015 is just around the corner!

Today I will share my highlights of the second half of 2014. You would think that after the wedding everything would be disappointing, like a hangover after a great party. Thankfully, I loved these last couple of months.. and it was quite hard to pick my autumn&winter favorites!! But here are my favorite moments of 2014.. part 2! my year in squares - autumn 2014 | Inspire Styling journal Autumn was the season of cool events.. It started with Snor festival (can't wait for the second edition!), Seinfestijn (where I hosted my first workshop, in making a moodboard) and of course good old Woonbeurs, where I met so much online friends in real life. If you want to get together for coffee and cake next year, feel free to send me a message!

And then there was Engaged, the most creative and original wedding fair in town. I attented it last year, as a bride-to-be and loved the vibe and vendors. So when Jamy asked me to design his stand for Engaged 2014, I was very excited! We had a great time, our bohemian/vintage stand looked smashing and I definitely will be there next year!

Speaking of weddings.. I launched Inspire Weddings at Engaged! Because I want to help couples by creating a personal, cool and unique wedding day. For all of you that want a wedding in the woods, a lake picnic, a bohemian love fest or maybe an elopement in the mountains..  feel free to contact me, I'm bursting with ideas :)

Another big part of the year was going places with Stefan. We dragged his family to the forest, visited an old greenhouse on my birthday, went to Songbird festival again and had a great weekend in Rotterdam, visiting the Aloha Bar (hello heaven!) and meeting up with old friends at the festival. I love our time together ♥my year in squares - winter 2014 | Inspire Styling journal Winter was the season of drinking tea, Christmas shoots, making plans, going to cold, windy beaches and spending time inside with lots of cat cuddles, sketchbooks and well.. Pinterest ;)

But it was also time to say goodbye to our sweet furry friend Kalare. He is in the Autumn collection, on the sweet picture Marlous made of him. He was suffering from a lot of things, after he got hit by a car 6 years ago. We gave him the best life possible and loved him to pieces, that short 7 years. But he was just in too much pain the last couple of months. It was the hardest thing I ever did, choosing to end the life of this friendly creature, our little guy. We cried for days after that visit to the vet. It is for the best, because Kalare is (pain)free now. We will miss him and love him forever. Even if that sounds like I am a crazy cat lady (proud to be).

Marlous took the picture of me and Nalu above as well, while she was here to brainstorm. Because somehow, over tea&cake, I ended up as her creative partner in crime for Oh Marie this year!! I must say, it's the best thing that ever happened to me over tea ;) Awesome Marlous and I have been making all kinds of plans since and we can't wait to get shooting, writing and collecting for our first issue! We will blow you all away early spring :)

Just before Christmas I got an early present: my first publication! The shoot I did with Hanke Arkenbout hit theweddingblog.be. I couldn't be more proud of this amazing dark winter days shoot! And so, this year ended like it started.. A shoot with sweet Hanke, lots of new things and projects that involve insecurities and wobbly bits. But I feel way more confident than at the start of 2014. Because I have the support of the most talented people, a network with the best creatives in town and a whole bunch of sweet supporters! So this one is for you! dark winter days - analog Christmas shoot - photography by Hanke Arkenhout - styling by Anne van Midden - 2015 Your kind words, comments and likes always bring a smile to my face and mean the world to me. Because sometimes, when you work at home, it can get lonely and quiet. But with all those lovely people at the other side of my screen, I feel less alone. Thank you for all those nice moments this year! You have been wonderful! I hope to see a lot of you in 2015!

Have a magical new year, filled with love, happiness, friends, exciting new things and adventures!

Enjoy! ♥ Anne

goodbye to a magical year

It's almost 2015, time to look back at this year. It has been one hell of a ride! When 2014 started I just celebrated my company’s first birthday and still felt like a total rookie, business wise. I had to figure out what my ‘USP’ was, where in this giant pool of creatives I belong. I also jumped into this year with an engagement ring around my finger, making all kinds of plans with my love. One of them was my idea to illustrate my own wedding stationery. A lot of new things filled up my to do list and it felt a bit wobbly at first.

But then came the lazy Sunday shoot I did with Hanke Arkenbout, on the day we first met. (seriously: “Hi, I’m Anne.. this is my giant backpack with props”) The shoot turned out so good, I felt more confident I was on the right track. After that great start, the year flew by! I will show you my highlights, in tiny squares that represent each season. Let's start with spring! my year in squares - spring 2014 | Inspire Styling journal I spend most of my free time working like a crazy hermit on our save the dates and invitations. With every flower I painted I got happier.. and closer to a wrist injury (still handling that one). Totally worth it. In the weekends Stefan and I loaded up our firevan with all kinds of vintage tableware for the wedding. Total prepping-mode, we were on the roll! ;)

On a cold rainy day I created a gorgeous lookbook for Puur Anders, starring my sweet friend Margriet (looking stunning with ivy ranks all over her body) and photographed by Danique van Kesteren. When I downloaded the pictures I knew.. My USP is my love for nature. It is my neverending source of inspiration and a red thread in my best work. Nature, details and authenticity, that pretty much sums up what my work is (and what I am!) all about. I guess I found my place in the pool this year.

That month I spend more time with Danique, since we also had our engagement shoot our beautiful hometown. I never really shared the pictures, I should do that in 2015.. for those French fries alone! ;) my year in squares - summer 2014 | Inspire Styling journal And then summer finally came. Besides all the wedding stuff I made a lot of moodboards&sketches and searched for the most perfect furniture for a backstage room at Doornroosje Nijmegen. I met a lot of people online and found out that they all are even lovelier offline. I got the hang of Instagram, gave my website a little makeover and listened to Hankes tips about photography.

The times we weren’t thrifting or working, Stefan and I had our own little adventures. Picking blackberries, beachcombing, running into dreamy flowery fields, gazing at sunsets in Soestduinen, wandering in the woods.. or just strolling through Amersfoort.

But the biggest adventure we ever had was getting married! On the 28th of June we said our I do’s under the trees. It was the most amazing day, filled with family&friends, flowers, good food (thank you Femke&Eddy), homemade details, thrifted treasures, helping hands, magical moments and a lot of love!!  bohemian wedding in the woods | photo by 88forever | Inspire Styling So yeah, the first half of 2014 was pretty amazing! Tomorrow I will let you know if the second half can measure up.. :)

♥ Anne

tiny adventures: greenhouse wanderers

greenhouse wanderer | Inspire Styling journalA few weeks ago, on my birthday, me and my love wandered through a small, old greenhouse in Utrecht. It was an Autumn day and although the leaves were turning yellow and red, the air was warm. Mother Nature made the most of the Indian Summer this year.

Strolling through greenhouses is my favorite thing to do, so if I know there is such a place in a city I visit I will look it up. I guess I'm not really a city-let's go shopping-kind of person. I used up the full percentage of my iPhone to shoot a lot of pictures, as I wasn't carrying my camera with me that day. So much beauty! greenhouse wanderer | Inspire Styling journal These massive waterlillies (Victoria amazonica) are the show-stopper of the Oude Hortus. They are absoluty amazing, so delicate and strong at the same time. The leaves can grow up to 1,5 meters in Summer, worth checking out I would say! greenhouse wanderer | Inspire Styling journalgreenhouse wanderer | Inspire Styling journalgreenhouse wanderer | Inspire Styling journal Even fallen bougainville petals have the most beautiful color! This is magenta at it's best! We tried to grow a bougainville in our garden, but the Dutch climate is way too harsh on this pretty Medditerranean plant. Adding to bucketlist: Spotting a bougainville in it's natural habitat! greenhouse wanderer | Inspire Styling journalgreenhouse wanderer | Inspire Styling journalgreenhouse wanderer | Inspire Styling journal These little crawling plant was incredibly soft and airy, it felt like some sort of bouncy cloud. I actually petted this plant, very gently of course. Do not do this if you can't be careful! (PS: Look at our hands! They say: "We are married!" :) ) greenhouse wanderer | Inspire Styling journalgreenhouse wanderer | Inspire Styling journalgreenhouse wanderer | Inspire Styling journalgreenhouse wanderer | Inspire Styling journal I have been to Utrecht lots of times, but I never knew about this small gem in the city centre. The Oude Hortus is part of the Universiteitsmuseum, the entrance fee for just the greenhouse&garden is close to zero. The greenhouse itself isn't really that big, but the atmosphere is nice and the garden very pretty! The perfect place to escape the busy streets and shops. You can even take a break at the Gingko café, where they serve coffee, cake, lunch and wine. One of the oldest Ginkgo trees (250 years!) grows in this garden, hence the name.

Oh and we found out you can get married at this place! Can't wait till I can plan&style a wedding here!

If you happen to be in Utrecht, remember to visit this beautiful, calm place behind the Dick Bruna museum :)

♥ Anne

tiny adventures: first autumn days

My favorite month has started: October! I love everything about Autumn.. the crisp air, the deep red, orange and yellow leaves, , snuggling with a wool blanket on the couch on rainy days, chestnuts, pumpkin soup, scarfs, knitwear and going outside! On one of the first Autumn days (well, actually it was more like Indian Summer!) we enjoyed the purple haze on Texel. The heathland was so beautiful!first autumn days | Inspire Styling journalfirst autumn days | Inspire Styling journalfirst autumn days | Inspire Styling journalfirst autumn days | Inspire Styling journal Stefan decided he would try some filming, since he is always waiting while I take pictures. We tried filming these maple tree seeds, because they do that cute helicopter thing when you throw them in the air. It looked super cool in real life, but on film it wasn't really visible. Oh well, maybe next time! :)

I hope I get to do a fall wedding soon, I can't wait to use these seeds as confetti!! first autumn days | Inspire Styling journalfirst autumn days | Inspire Styling journalfirst autumn days | Inspire Styling journalfirst autumn days | Inspire Styling journalfirst autumn days | Inspire Styling journalfirst autumn days | Inspire Styling journal My backpack probably looks pretty out of place here.. Stefan was carrying it, untill he found some kind of cave/bunker. There were bats inside and everything. And my man is crazy about bats, so he crawled inside this tiny hole. The bag didn't fit, it found a temporary place on this tree :) first autumn days | Inspire Styling journalfirst autumn days | Inspire Styling journal Remember the thing I said about it being Indian Summer like? Well, on most moments it was great, the sun was shining and it was warm enough to take our jackets off. Untill the rain came... oh that crazy ass rain! We ran through the woods to find shelter and rewarded ourselves with some hot chocolate at a café. I have to remind myself to buy a rainproof coat someday.. ;)

After a few more showers, the sun came out again and we made a pitstop in a beautiful field. I love heathland, the entire landscape changes from green to purple and back again. And to see the sun lighten up those tiny flowers.. sigh! first autumn days | Inspire Styling journalfirst autumn days | Inspire Styling journalfirst autumn days | Inspire Styling journalfirst autumn days | Inspire Styling journal My mother-in-law took these pictures of us with a tiny caterpillar. I have no idea how we found this guy, I guess Stefan saw it walking somewhere. He always spots the tiniest animals, it's like he has some kind of radar! first autumn days | Inspire Styling journalfirst autumn days | Inspire Styling journalfirst autumn days | Inspire Styling journal We went into the woods so I could do a little familyshoot of Stefan and his mom. A great way to practice my new lens with people instead of leaves and flowers. Some photos turned out a bit blurry because I am still getting to know my camera, but most of them are so sweet! This is one of my favorites, look at these lovely people! family shoot in the woods | Inspire Styling journal After her own shining moment Janny shot these really cute photos of us. I love them! first autumn days | Inspire Styling journalfirst autumn days | Inspire Styling journal Enjoy this lovely season and don't forget to step outside every now and then!

♥ Anne

tiny adventures: blackberry picking after nine

For most Dutch people the Summer vacation has begon and this weekend was a good start with warm, sunny weather. We both have to work so we're not going anywhere this Summer, but we like to create our little mini vacations in the weekends.wander into a forest - Inspire Styling Journal On Friday we had a amazing evening in our garden with friends, lots of great (&pretty!) food and wine. Saturday morning we went out to get icecream and decided it was to hot to spend the day outside.. so we switched to total couch potato mode and watched a movie with our feet in a tub with cold water ;)

After a late evening picknick dinner in the grass we drove to a forest/heathland to cool down a bit. It was a bit to dark to take proper pictures, but I kind of like the blue light and hazy feel to it.blue flowers - Inspire Styling Journalforest road1 - Inspire Styling Journalheathland - Inspire Styling Journalyoung pinetree - Inspire Styling Journal We tried to avoid the forest grounds and the ticks that live there so, unlike usual, we sticked to the main paths. Lucky us found a lot of blackberry bushes there, scared a few mice by showing up so late and picked some berries. wander - Inspire Styling Journalforest road - Inspire Styling Journalblackberries - Inspire Styling Journalpicking blackberries - Inspire Styling Journalblackberry picking - Inspire Styling Journalblackberry picking - Inspire Styling Journal (2)I made Stefan take a lot of photos of the blackberries in my hands, I knew how I wanted it to look but it's quite hard to take pictures through someone else's eyes ;) But I married the perfect man, because this picture turned out beautiful!

The next morning I shot a little 'summer breakfast' foodstyling series with our blackberry harvest, check it out here.

Have a great summer! ♥ Anne

tiny adventures: a little sunset shoot

The one with the camera is the one that's almost never in the pictures. That's why Stefan took the camera and shot a lot of photos of me. We went out around sunset to play with flares in the fields surrounding our honeymoon cabin. Some of these pics are mine, obviously the ones with me in it are Stefans. He has a lot of creative talent, that most people don't know about. Now they do, because they turned out really cool! I'm proud of my love :)sunset shoot - Inspire Styling journal sunset shoot - Inspire Styling journalsunset shoot - Inspire Styling journalsunset shoot - Inspire Styling journalsunset shoot - Inspire Styling journalsunset in a cornflower field - Inspire Styling journalsunset in a cornflower field - Inspire Styling journalsunset in a cornflower field - Inspire Styling journalsunset in a cornflower field - Inspire Styling journalsunset in a cornflower field - Inspire Styling journalsunset in a cornflower field - Inspire Styling journalsunset in a cornflower field - Inspire Styling journal I think this cornflower field is a dreamsetting for a fairy tale like photoshoot, ideas keep popping into my head for this place. Flowy dresses, girls with flower crowns, a midsummer night's dream vibe, I can't wait to do something like this!

Contact me if you're interested in such a shoot! ♥ Anne

tiny adventures: deer, foxes and cornflowers

We booked an idylllic log cabin in the woods for our 'honeymoon'. The real trip will go to Costa Rica, probably later this year. But to get away from it all and relax for a while we escaped to the most quiet place in the Netherlands: Midwolda, in Groningen. Our little home for the week was surrounded with ferns, trees, birds and butterflies.log cabin in the woods | Inspire Styling journalferns flare | Inspire Styling journalforest | Inspire Styling journal We had a great week, walked around in the woods, explored the flowery fields around it, photographed a lot of insects and plants, killed some mosquitos, drank a lot of wine, had dinners at the kitchen-bar, counted the birds in the garden, swam at a big lake, drove around in our firevan, almost got stuck in a cornfield, annoyed some sheep at the edge of the Waddenzee, danced in the living room and just enjoyed being newlywed!swamp field | Inspire Styling journalwandering | Inspire Styling journalnettle | Inspire Styling journalsticky plant | Inspire Styling journal I shot a lot of forest&plant pictures, as usual.  At times we switched roles, so Stefan could take photos and I would wait for him while he tried to document a cricket. At the edge of the woods was this magical, flowery field.. the closest thing to heaven as far as I'm concerned. It was filled with blue cornflowers and some lost poppy's, daisies and other wild flowers (scroll down for photos). We spotted some deer in that same field and even saw foxes around there! deer | Inspire Styling journal As you can see I don't have a big zoom lens on my camera.. Can you spot her? She just stood there and stared at us for a minute or so before she ran away. So beautiful! fox | Inspire Styling journal I was so excited when we spotted this gorgeous fox too! We saw two of them and this curious one even came really close! At that point, Stefan was holding the camera so I don't have a close-up pic, but I was over the moon!  I felt so happy I could cry! I know, I'm a big Disney emo-girl.. ;)striped feather | Inspire Styling journalclover | Inspire Styling journalbutterflies | Inspire Styling journalflowers | Inspire Styling journalgrasshopper | Inspire Styling journalclover leafs | Inspire Styling journal We explored the forest surrounding our cabin and walked for hours by the edge of the woods, a.k.a. flower&insect paradise. Did you spot the butterflies and the big grasshopper? This was at one end of the woods, the cornflower field at the other side. Told you, complete paradise! :) cornflower field | Inspire Styling journalflower meadow | Inspire Styling journalcornflower field | Inspire Styling journalcornflower field shoot | Inspire Styling journal Stefan snapped this picture with his phone, I didn't want to leave this field but it was burning hot so I'm glad we did ;) But this is definitely a place we will visit again! If  you like nature, need a relaxing or romantic getaway and don't mind smelling like bug spray.. This cabin in Midwolda is for you!

Enjoy your summer! ♥ Anne

loveshoot Amersfoort: awkward love

I've been thinking about the wonderful day we had yesterday in our beautiful Amersfoort with Danique (88forever) for our engagement shoot.

It surpised me how nervous I was at the beginning, but sweet Danique made me relax and Stefan made me laugh by just being the man I love. We are really happy we did this shoot, even though we haven't seen a photo yet! Okay, maybe two, on the screen of her camera.. And this pretty pic above she posted on Instagram yesterday. It's a great try-out for the "BIG DAY" :)

Stefan said to me yesterday: "It is just so special to have beautiful pictures of us." And I agree! Usually I'm the one taking pictures, so the only time we're in a frame together is when we take a selfie. Well, yesterday was a little different.. but we were still us, the kinda awkward&giggly but great couple that we are! ♥

Although I'm super ahead of everything, this is my advice to all of you: Do this! Have a lovely, fun day with the one(s) you love, a photographer you like and end up with photos you treasure the rest of your life! :)

Love, Anne ♥

** My soundtrack for this post: The new EP of Postcards from Mars  ** (and yes, that just happens to be Danique's fiance and my old classmate :) )

something old, something new...

proposal in the sand - Inspire Styling journalA little Google-translate for the non-Dutch readers: 'Trouwen?' means 'Marry?'... :) Of course I said YES to my amazing Stefan. The sneaky guy surprised me with his proposal during our weekend at a beach-house. The weekend itself already was a surprise for our 7 year anniversary. He asked me on June 29th (our 7 year and 1 day anniversary), six months after he bought a vintage ring (something old!)

He searched untill he found the perfect ring, the perfect ring box and waited for the perfect moment to ask me. What a man.. :) ♥ engaged - Inspire Styling journaltoast at sunset - Inspire Styling journalbeach sunset - Inspire Styling journalengagement ring - Inspire Styling journalevening bliss - Inspire Styling journalengagement weekend - Inspire Styling journal Isn't the ring amazing? He knows me so well... and the antique ringbox from Edinburgh is a great find too! Can I use the word 'perfect' again? ;)

I am happier then ever with my boyfriend (no wait... fiancé!) and big love of my life Stefan! Over the moon happy that is!! And no, I will not say "I can't wait to marry him!", because I CAN wait and we will enjoy every second our engagement.. it's a once in a lifetime thing!

How's that for an update? :)

Love, Anne ♥

let's be adventurers (about this journal)

Anne van Midden - Cahuita, Costa Rica honeymoonWELCOME

Hi there! You might have read my 'about' page or scrolled around my work. And now you found my little personal corner, my online journal. I hope you like what you see&read here, I hope to inspire you by sharing stories about me, my life, my styling work and interests. You will find some behind the scenes pictures, work in progress and updates about the projects I am working on.

For all the lovely brides&grooms out here: I hope to help you out with my regular (Dutch) wedding inspiration posts. Posts about themes, practical tips and the best ideas for your wedding. You can also find inspiration in my portfolio, where you can look at the weddings I have styled and of course, my own wedding in the woods.

Most of all I hope you are willing to travel with us. Because a lot of stories will be about me and my love, about what we do and the places we go. Right now, those places are not the places you will find on the average 'wanderlust' Pinterest board. It's the places close to us, the park in our neighboorhood, a forest on a 30 minute bikeride from here, the beach on Stefan's birth island or a village we drove by with our firevan.

Sure, we want to travel the world, see the Northen Light, count birds in a rainforest (check!! Our Costa Rica honeymoon made this happen!), roadtrip in America, climb mountains, gaze at stars in an African desert and discover new countries. But we can't do everything now, so we just make plans, dream and explore our own country first.

You can join in on our adventures by following my journal and check the category 'adventures'. I love capturing all the beauty we come across with my camera and sketchbook. Expect a lot of plants, berries, forests and photos of my man. Stefan loves running around, exploring less-travelled paths and shooting videos with his gopro. And sometimes he grabs the camera to snap pictures of me picking berries, spotting birds and playing in the shoreline. These are our adventures and no matter how small they may seem, they are grand to us.

I hope to see you around! ♥ Anne

-- Loving you is the greatest adventure --