Q&A

Q&A with Belen Campuzano: ''Cooking keeps me relaxed in stressful times''

Meet the beautiful Belen Campuzano from Sevilla, Spain. Seven years ago, when she finished her studies, she decided to move to the UK to learn English. Belen met this Dutch guy called Stefan in a bar and have been together with him since then. Their daughter Carmen was born two years later, in England. She is a sweet 5 year old girl who loves to dance, dresses, make up, and chocolate…

“When we moved to Amsterdam I was lost! I didn’t have a job; the language was and IS very difficult; I didn’t have friends; I didn’t know the city; I was scared of getting on my bike on my own, trust me, if you are not Dutch and last time you rode a bike was when you used to play with Barbies… It’s very scary! I made a friend, a really good one, the best one you can ask for: my fiance’s ex girlfriend. It sounds weird, I know, but we started a shoe brand together.”

How would you describe your own personal style?
This sounds silly but I have no idea what my personal style is. So I just googled ‘What is your personal style’ and I got a quiz. The result says: ‘Your style is chic and modern without being overdone. You let them dictate what you wear’.

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As a busy mom how do you combine motherhood with your career?
On one side, if your best friend and you are the owners of a business, it’s easy to combine work with my personal life. For example: ‘Hey Corine, today I’m leaving early’; ‘Carmen is ill so I have to stay home’; ‘I have an appointment with the doctor tomorrow’.

On the other hand it’s difficult too, because your work and kid both need time and they both need you. I work three days a week and the rest of the week I stay home doing things and spending time with my daughter. I admire those women who work 5 days a week and have a boss.

Which fashion mom you look at for inspiration?
I love Jessica Alba. I like her because it’s never too much. Every picture on her Instagram account is normal, nothing crazy. Normal make up, normal clothes, normal pictures…  And of course she is a good business woman with a good bank account… I’d like to be a successful mom like her.

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What is the best part of being a mom?
Look at your child and think that that human being was inside of you for 9 months. It’s something that you created. It will be part of you forever because you made it. And that love won’t ever go away, it’s special. What is very special too is that now that I’m a mom I understand how much my mom loves me. I never realised it until I became a mom.

What inspires you most in life and where do you find creativity?
I like many magazines on Facebook, so when I’m bored or when I have time I read the articles, which gives me many ideas. Instagram is good too but I don’t use it as much as Pinterest. Pinterest is definitely my favourite. I have boards full of Pins for everything: clothes, dresses, shoes, coats, bags, food, healthy food, decoration, kids clothes, kids food…

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Are there any fun (childhood) traditions that you share with your kids?
Flamenco it’s my favourite dance and music. I try to teach my daughter how to dance, but she gets bored and loses her focus. I even bought a dress and the proper shoes! Hope next year when she is 5 I can bring her to Flamenco lessons. I’m sure she will love it when she sees that all the girls in Sevilla know how to dance.

One of my favourite days of the year is ‘The Three Kings’ in Spain. Every 5th of January there is big parade for kids in the afternoon/evening. Before we go to bed we place our shoes under the Christmas tree and set the table with few snacks and drinks for The Three Wise Men (they are not real, but kids don’t know). Next morning we wake up very early to get our presents and in the shoes we get chocolates and sweets. It’s like Sinterklaas or Santa Claus.

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What keeps relaxed in stressful times? Describe your ultimate Me-time moment
I have two things that help me quite a lot. One of them is cooking, the other one when I go to get my eyebrows done. I love cooking because I don’t think about anything else. It’s just me and the ingredients, and maybe a glass of wine. Red wine if I’m cooking meat or white while I’m cooking fish. Lay down when someone is doing my eyebrows is the best feeling. I know many women and men find it painful, but to me it’s completely different. I close my eyes and enjoy.

How do you stay healthy? Are there any beauty and lifestyle tips you would like to share?
I love food, as I love cooking food is one of my passions. Which is very dangerous because if you don’t watch what you eat you can lose control. We don’t buy prepared food, everything is homemade. Twice or three times a week we eat fish. Every meal has vegetables or salad… That’s how I stay healthy. I’d love to be a sporty person, but I am not. I fail every time a start a gym. It isn’t my thing, I hate it!!!

I don’t have many beauty tips, plus I’m lazy to spend hours in front of the mirror. My tips are:

  • No make up at home;
  • I wash my hair twice a week and when it’s a little bit greasy I just wear a pony tail;
  • I use a mask for my hair once a week, always while I’m scrubbing my body;
  • Drink warm water with lemon juice every morning before breakfast, on an empty belly. It’s really good for the body.

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Is there anything you love to wear but your partner simply hates? And the other way around, is there anything in your partner’s wardrobe you would love to see mysteriously disappear?
Yes, the boyfriend jeans. He hates them and I don’t know why! They are my favorite kind of pants, they are super comfy. My fiance doesn’t get it, but I don’t care, I wear them almost every day.

I like all his clothes. Probably because I’m the one who picks them when we go shopping. I always bring him clothes that I like to the changing room and he picks. Easy! There is only one ugly and shiny shirt in his wardrobe. Guess what? He got it on his own hahaha.

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What is your favorite holiday destination with kids?
It’s obviously Spain. I grew up in the south of Spain and for me it’s the perfect place to go. The weather is nice, the food, beaches, mountains… My daughter loves it too, not just because of our family and friends but the culture. We spend more time outside except around 15:00 and 17:00 when we have lunch and the famous ‘siesta’, we simply love it!

A decade ago would you have pictured your life as it is now?
No way! I never thought of living out of Spain, having a Dutch fiance and a kid so soon. My life was going to be: finishing my studies and getting a job (in Spain); getting married; waiting for a few years and then having kids. It hasn’t been as I planned, but I cannot be happier living the life that I never had in mind.

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What advice would you give working moms who struggle with stress, a busy job, and family, career and time for yourself?
Get a schedule! It always works! Every Tuesday I do the groceries for a week after cleaning the house. It’s cheaper and I don’t have to go to the supermarket every day. I know what we are eating every day of the week. I don’t know the exact meal but I know if we are having soup, fish, meat, pasta… Kids need a schedule too. It’s much easier when they go to bed at the same time every night, or they have the bath and dinner at 18:00, for example. And if you can’t follow the program one day it’s fine! Who cares! Nothing will happen if you don’t clean for a week or order some food because you had no time. I almost forgot, try to spend time with your friends and partner. At least, you deserve a date and a night out once a month.

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Anniek den Boer

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